Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive John Stumpf said interest rates will probably finally start rising this year, and that will "absolutely" help the bank. Speaking at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference on Friday, Stumpf said if he were a betting person, "which I'm not," he would guess the Federal Reserve will make increase rates once this year, probably a 25-basis-point hike in September, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. He believes that unlike previous cycles, the Fed's rate moves this time will be "very data dependent," with inflation pushing higher. "Will higher rates help us? Well, absolutely," Stumpf said. But he said the bank can still perform well in the current "slow rate environment." The stock, which slipped 0.2% in premarket trade, has gained 2.5% year to date through Thursday, compared with a 3% rise in the S&P 500 .
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