December 5, 2017 / 2:33 PM / a year ago

Wells Fargo CEO sees better commercial loan results in fourth quarter

Tim Sloan speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co will likely see improvement in its business lending segment when it reports fourth-quarter earnings in January, Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan said at an investor presentation on Tuesday.

Commercial lending was a weak spot for the U.S. lender when it reported third-quarter results in October, with balances falling by more than $5 billion compared to the prior period.

Sloan said the commercial lending environment has been slower than he expected overall this year, though the run-off of two large corporate loans in the third quarter also had what he called an “idiosyncratic” impact.

Sloan said he sees the residential mortgage business slowing in the fourth quarter, primarily due to seasonal factors. Wells Fargo is the third-largest U.S. bank by assets and the leading U.S. mortgage lender.

Much of Sloan’s presentation was devoted to Wells Fargo’s expense targets. While he offered no update to the bank’s plans to cut $2 billion off expenses in 2018 and another $2 billion in 2019, he said he would offer more detail when Wells Fargo reports fourth-quarter results.

Wells Fargo shares were up 0.4 percent in morning trading.

Reporting by Dan Freed in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Meredith Mazzilli

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