Wells Fargo calls for tougher regulation

A pedestrian walks by a Wells Fargo bank office in Oakland, Calif.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: This week Federal regulators are writing some of the rules that banks will have to comply with as part of the new financial reform law. And the Financial times reports this morning Wells Fargo wants banks to keep more of the loans they make on their books -- rather than selling them to investors.

Marketplace's Janet Babin has the story.


JANET BABIN: Since the 1960s, when a bank gave you a loan on your house, the next thing they did was to sell it. They'd take money and make a loan to someone else. Then came the financial crisis, when so many loans went bad. Now regulators wants to require banks to retain 5 percent of their credit risk on their own books. Wells Fargo told the government it should require lenders to keep even more loans in house. Chris Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics says Wells is doing this for two reasons. First, it's always been more conservative than its peers. And, he says, banks don't really have much choice right now:

CHRIS WHALEN: If you originate a loan that you can't sell to the government, essentially, right -- Frannie and Freddie -- you gotta keep it. There is no investor out there that wants to buy a jumbo right now.

Wells Fargo was one of the top recipients of help from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.

In New York I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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