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Washington — Wells Fargo has asked its main regulator if it may buy platinum and lease it to a client, in a test of a new rule meant to limit banks’ exposure to volatile commodity markets, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) introduced the rule early this year to ensure that banks entrusted with customer deposits do not bet on price swings of metals.
Wells Fargo would do the deal on behalf of an energy company and charge a fee for the service, said three people familiar with the request, who were not authorised to discuss it publicly.
A green light could help Wells Fargo grow a business catering to industrial clients even as the bank grapples with several scandals in its retail division.
Like other large lenders, the San Francisco-based company may already perform metal trades through a non-bank affiliate that does not rely on federally backed deposits. The US Federal Reserve oversees those entities.
Wells Fargo said such...
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