Wells Fargo plans to hire new employees for its investment bank as it tries to compensate for declining profits from its lending business. The California-based banking giant has been venturing into alternative businesses as home sales sank to a 15-year low this year. The bank recently also bulked up its commercial mortgage-backed securities business in anticipation of a resurgence in that market, hiring 20 bankers and support staff over the last few months.
Former employees of Wachovia Corp., which the bank acquired in 2008, could also be rehired as part of the shift. Banks that have used their investment banking revenues to mitigate losses from consumer lending include Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.