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Wells Fargo Lowers its Profitability Targets

Wells Fargo lowered two key companywide financial targets on Tuesday, citing low interest rates, higher credit and compliance costs and increased regulatory capital requirements.

The San Francisco-based lender now targets a return on assets of 1.1% to 1.4% this year, down from the 1.3% to 1.6% it detailed in 2014. Its full-year return-on-equity target is now 11% to 14%, down from 12% to 15%.

Since Wells Fargo’s 2014 guidance, it has taken actions to prepare for lower interest rates for a longer period of time. Banks typically do so by getting rid of assets that are sensitive to high rates, and shifting to assets that perform well during low rates. As a result, Wells Fargo said it will benefit less if interest rates suddenly jolt upward.

Federal Reserve officials recently signaled that the U.S. central bank could be on track to raise interest rates in June or July.

The bank now expects its net interest margin would rise 5 to 15 basis points if the yield curve shifted upward by 100 basis points. Its prior expectation was for a net interest margin benefit of 10 to 30 basis points from such a move. A basis point is one hundredth of one percent.

Wells Fargo (WFC) detailed the new targets in a presentation on its website for its annual investor day meeting.

Shares of Wells Fargo were up slightly on the news to just over $49 a share.