A bank's profitability affects its safety and soundness. A bank can retain its earnings, giving a boost to its capital cushion, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, likely making the bank more resilient in times of trouble. Losses, on the other hand, lessen a bank's ability to do those things.
On Bankrate's test of earnings, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association scored 22 out of a possible 30, better than the national average of 15.12.
Return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (profit, essentially) by the total amount of equity, is one important way to measure a bank's earnings. The most recent annualized quarterly return on equity for Wells Fargo Bank, National Association was 13.25 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
The bank earned net income of $21.32 billion on total equity of $166.56 billion for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017. The bank experienced an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.23 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.