Wells Fargo says no losses from Archegos downfall

FILE PHOTO: A man walks by an ATM at the Wells Fargo & Co. bank in downtown Denver April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

(Reuters) -Wells Fargo & Co said on Tuesday it had a prime brokerage relationship with Archegos Capital and it did not experience any losses related to the closing of its exposure.

Losses at Archegos, a family office run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, sparked fears among investors that banks would be forced to take big write-downs after extending billions of dollars in leverage to the fund.

“We were well collateralized at all times over the last week and no longer have any exposure,” Wells Fargo said refini.tv/31xJVrC in a short statement.

The bank’s shares were up 3.6% in morning trade.

J.P. Morgan research analysts said in a note earlier on Tuesday that Wells Fargo’s likely involvement in the Archegos Capital fallout comes as a surprise and carries the risk of additional regulatory scrutiny for the bank or a delay in its asset cap being lifted.

“Our key concerns for Wells Fargo are reputational risk and whether this would increase regulatory scrutiny or delay its asset cap being lifted if it incurs any losses and/or probes that expose inadequate risk and controls,” the analysts said.

Wells Fargo has been in regulators’ penalty box since 2016 when details of a sales scandal first emerged, leading to the departure of two chief executives, billions of dollars in litigation and remedial costs and the Fed ordering the bank in 2018 to keep its assets below $1.95 trillion.

Bloomberg News reported on Monday that five block trades valued at a combined $2.14 billion were executed by Wells Fargo. The bank solicited interest in 18 million ViacomCBS shares at $48 per share before the market opened Monday, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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