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Wachovia Closing Broker Channel

Wholesale lending to cease on Friday

July 21, 2008


Wachovia Corp. is exiting its wholesale lending business. The lender is not the only lender to abandon the broker channel.

Wachovia will stop accepting new broker business after Friday, July 25, spokesman Don Vecchiarello told today. The decision affects both the former legacy World Savings operations and Wachovia operations.

He noted, however, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company will maintain its Vertice wholesale mortgage channel in its corporate investment bank.

Vecchiarello could not confirm how many employees were impacted by the move.

He said the company will honor commitments on loans locked by July 25.

"We evaluated our business model in the context of the current market, and we recognized some opportunities to reposition our business," Vecchiarello stated. "It's important to focus on serving the needs on customers who have relationships with the bank, and who are located in geographies where Wachovia franchises are located."

The move follows the appointment of former Treasury Under Secretary Robert K. Steel to the post of Wachovia chief executive officer.

Last month, Wachovia announced it would no longer offer loans with payment options that result in negative amortization -- a staple of World Savings which was acquired by Wachovia in October 2006.

Among other companies to eliminate their wholesale channels are Aurora Loan Services, which stopped taking new business from mortgage brokers and correspondent lenders in January; Bank of America Corp., which ceased accepting broker business in December; National City Mortgage, which quit its wholesale lending business in December; and Washington Mutual Inc., which exited its wholesale lending business in April;

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of

e-mail: [email protected]

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