NEW YORK (AP) -- Wells Fargo has set a goal of at least $100 billion in new loans to small businesses over the next five years.
The bank, which announced the goal Thursday, plans a marketing and education program to make small businesses aware of its services. The company made nearly $19 billion in new small business loans last year.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. wants to take advantage of small business owners' rising optimism. The bank's second-quarter Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index rose to 47 from 45 in a survey taken in January. The gain was in line with other recent signs of small business confidence, including an increase in hiring and a pickup in borrowing.
Still, the index is well below the high of 114 it reached before the recession.