Wells Fargo cutting 1,800 jobs in mortgage business

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:16am EDT
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By Peter Rudegeair

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: Quote), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Thursday that it will cut 1,800 jobs in its home loan business due to lower demand for refinancing amid higher interest rates.

The fourth-largest U.S. bank provided a 60-day notice on Wednesday to employees whose jobs were to be eliminated, the bank said in a statement.

Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan told investors at a conference on September 9 that the San Francisco bank had laid off 3,000 employees in its mortgage business so far in the third quarter. Sloan also said Wells Fargo expected to make $80 billion in home loans in the third quarter, nearly 30 percent below its second-quarter figure.

As mortgage revenue declines, the bank is looking to trim expenses in the unit, a process that usually takes one to two quarters, Sloan said.

News of the planned layoffs was first reported by Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo made more than one of every five U.S. home loans in the second quarter, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry publication.

Wells Fargo shares were down 0.7 percent at $43.02 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

(Reporting by Nadia Damouni; editing by Matthew Lewis)

A Wells Fargo sign is seen outside a banking branch in New York July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton