May 31, 2012

Wells Fargo & Co, after a respite from acquisitions following its 2008 purchase of Wachovia Corp, is interested in buying insurance sales businesses, its chief executive said Thursday.

"I love the insurance distribution business," John Stumpf said at a Sanford C. Bernstein conference for investors.

The San Francisco-based bank is the biggest seller of mortgages, used car loans and middle-market loans in the U.S. and those borrowers "all need insurance," Stumpf said.

He also repeated remarks from bank executives on May 22 that Wells wants to build its retail brokerage and wealth management businesses. He issued the standard warning, however, that the bank will be "very, very careful" on not paying too much for any purchases.

(Reporting By Jed Horowitz; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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