NEW YORK, April 18 Morgan Stanley's wealth management business plans to grow revenue by lending more of its customer deposits, but the bank is growing its loan book slowly to avoid taking on excessive risk, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on Thursday.
"There's no reason to rush it," Porat said on a conference call with analysts to discuss Morgan Stanley's first-quarter earnings report. "We want to make sure that we do it in a high-quality way and we are leading with risk management."
Chief Executive James Gorman said the bank's mortgage loan business was higher last quarter, as Morgan Stanley tries to put deposits to more profitable use.
That business reported a 17 percent profit margin for the second consecutive quarter, due to expense reductions and revenue growth. Lending is one way Gorman has said the business can increase revenue.
Morgan Stanley plans to buy a remaining 35 percent stake in its wealth management joint venture with Citigroup Inc that Citi still owns, but is waiting for "process approval" from the U.S. Federal Reserve, Porat said.