Wells Fargo Co. is the latest big bank to suspend repossessions, joining Bank of America and Chase Auto, as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to climb. At press time, the number of U.S. coronavirus cases clocked in at 189,661.
The San Francisco-based bank has been on a growth trajectory as the lender makes its auto finance comeback. For the past two quarters, Wells Fargo has posted a 45% year-over-year increase in originations. In the fourth quarter of 2019, overall outstandings climbed 6% YoY to $47.9 billion.
Moreover, in the Florida market alone, the bank clocked a 142.4% YoY increase in market share last December, outpacing Santander Consumer USA. Wells Fargo also experienced double-digit percentage growth in California and Virginia.
While the magnitude of negative impact on auto lenders’ books are uncertain, given the pandemic, Wells Fargo has kept charge-offs and delinquencies down. During 4Q19, the bank’s net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans fell 8 basis points to 0.73%, and 30-plus day delinquencies decreased 21 bps to 2.57%, largely driven by higher quality originations.