Wells Fargo & Co. is exploring a sale of its corporate-trust unit that could fetch more than US$1 billion and is considering whether to find a buyer for its student-loan portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.
The corporate-trust process is ongoing and Wells Fargo is handling the potential divestiture itself, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The San Francisco-based bank is also exploring a sale of its US$607 billion asset manager and expects to receive bids by the end of the month, as reported last week.
Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf is preparing to lay out his vision for the embattled lender. Since taking over last October, Scharf has been reviewing the firm’s businesses and developing a turnaround strategy after years of scandals. He’s promised a simpler structure that focuses on key units, telling analysts earlier this month that the firm will “continue to exit some things which aren’t core to the U.S. banking franchise.”
The corporate-trust business provides trust and agency services in connection with public and private debt securities. It’s part of the firm’s commercial bank, which serves businesses that typically have more than US$5 million in annual sales.
Wells Fargo holds a US$10 billion student-loan portfolio. The bank said earlier this month that it had notified customers of its planned exit from the student-lending business.
Representatives for Wells Fargo declined to comment on the potential divestitures.