SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — WellsFargo’s first-quarter income jumped 51 percent as more people opened accounts with the bank and business customers took out loans. New mortgages fell.

The San Francisco bank on Wednesday said it earned $3.6 billion after paying preferred dividends, or 67 cents per share. That compared with $2.4 billion, or 45 cents a share in the first quarter of last year.

The earnings were a penny better than the forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue fell to $20.3 billion from $21.5 billion.

The income included $1 billion released from reserves against loan losses as more borrowers made payments on time.

New mortgage loans fell sharply to $84 billion from $128 billion the previous quarter as interest rates rose.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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