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Is Wells Fargo setting the new FICO standard?

Lender loosens requirements for FHA borrowers


Although mega bank Wells Fargo (WFC) recorded a significant drop in originations in its fourth quarter earnings, it is still staying competitive.

The bank most recently made the decision to move its minimum FICO requirement on Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage loans to 600 from 640 for retail purchase customers, Vickee Adams, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo, said.

“We also grew both net interest income and noninterest income during the quarter, despite a challenging rate environment and the expected decline in mortgage originations. Wells Fargo’s diversified model was again able to produce solid results for our shareholders," said Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan.

In its last earnings release, the lender posted record earnings once again, reporting a fourth-quarter net income of $5.6 billion, or $3.89 a share, for 2013.

This comes during a time the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is tightening its lending standards with the recent implementation of the Qualified Mortgage.

However, despite the tightened rules, in the recent Federal Reserve senior loan officer survey on Bank Lending Practices, 17% of large banks said that credit standards on mortgage loans that the bank categorizes as prime residential eased somewhat. 

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