Wells Fargo ( WFC - Get Report) became the latest in a parade of banks to raise its dividend Tuesday, boosting its quarterly payout to 45 cents from 30 cents. With 1.7 billion shares eligible for the dividend, the 15-cent increase translates to an additional $255 million paid out when Wells mails checks Sept. 1. The company said in a release Tuesday it was targeting a dividend payout of about 40% to 50% of earnings and indeed, at $765 million the 45-cent dividend comes out to about half the $1.53 billion the bank earned in the second quarter. "The recent equalizing of dividend and capital gains tax rates has made dividend payments a more efficient way to provide value to our stockholders," Wells said in the release. "The size of this increase reflects the continued strength and consistency of our financial performance including eight consecutive quarters of record revenue, profits and earnings per share." The shares were recently up 40 cents, or 0.7%, to $51.64. Other large financial companies raising their dividends in recent weeks include Citigroup ( C - Get Report), Bank of America ( BAC - Get Report), Bank One ( ONE - Get Report), Washington Mutual ( WM) and Goldman Sachs ( GS - Get Report).