U.S. banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major U.S. lenders are preparing to become operators of oil and gas fields across the country for the first time in a generation to avoid losses on loans to energy companies that may go bankrupt, sources aware of the plans told Reuters.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) are each in the process of setting up independent companies to own oil and gas assets, said three people who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The banks are also looking to hire executives with relevant expertise to manage them, the sources said.

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