Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wells Fargo defends mortgage dominance

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance.

Wells defends mortgage dominance. In a memo to mortgage employees last week, Wells Fargo defended its dominance in the mortgage market, saying growth came through hard work and not "magic," and that it is a sign of good service, Bloomberg reports. The bank has been the subject of some scrutiny lately for its concentration in the market, originating one in three of the country's mortgages.

Short sales easier. People with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now have an easier time completing a short sale under new guidelines from the mortgage giants' regulator, the Wall Street Journal reports. Homeowners who haven't missed mortgage payments will also be eligible.

JPMorgan pay dwarfs China's banks. The world's most profitable bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., paid its CEO $9,400 for every billion in profit last year. JPMorgan Chase paid its leader $1.21 million, Bloomberg reports. Analysts say that gap will widen this year, but Chinese banks will become more like those in the U.S. in the coming years.

BofA stopping credit protection. Bank of America will stop selling "credit protection" that drew a federal class action lawsuit, Reuters reports. The program, which required a monthly fee, essentially would cancel a credit card customer's minimum balance if the person lost their job or had another significant hardship. The lawsuit said the bank used deceptive means to sign people up and that the program wasn't worth the money.