Orange County Business Journal

OC Office Among Cuts to Wells Fargo Wholesale Mortgage Business

Jane Yu Monday, July 16, 2012

Wells Fargo & Co. plans to close its wholesale lending office in Costa Mesa as part of the bank’s companywide withdrawal from the wholesale business.

It will not be accepting new applications for loans originated and sold by independent mortgage brokers, according to a statement. Such loans make up roughly 5% of the company’s home-mortgage volume. The bank is expected to process and close existing applications.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is the largest U.S. mortgage lender, and has 1,000 employees in its wholesale mortgage business across offices in Costa Mesa, Minneapolis, and Lombard, Ill. Most of the employees for the wholesale mortgage business will be transferred to other operations within the company, the bank said.

Wells Fargo employs about 50,000 people overall in California, with about 15,000 in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Wells Fargo said its exit from the wholesale market is unrelated to the recent agreement to pay $175 million to settle claims that it discriminated against minority borrowers in making residential loans.

The bank’s parent reported a second-quarter profit of $4.62 billion, up 17% from a year earlier. Income from mortgage banking totaled $2.89 billion, a 79% jump from a year-ago quarter.

The bank announced in March the closing of a customer service center in Santa Ana, a move that left 315 employees a month to find a replacement job within the bank’s operations.