Randomly pick five articles about the housing market and at least one is guaranteed to be about the new regulations and changes coming from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Since the housing burst in 2008, all eyes have turned to the banks that are “too big to fail.” The CFPB has piled on, creating new regulations and requirements for lenders to ensure another housing bust does not occur.
In a conference call regarding the company’s 2013 first quarter earnings, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf defended the company saying,"There are ongoing discussions about the need for more regulation and other changes. We do not need additional legislature in big banks. Important and significant regulatory changes have been made since the financial crisis, and we need to give existing regulations a chance to work, especially now when all our energy should be focused on creating growth and new jobs."
He expanded saying, "No bank should be considered too big too fail, and no taxpayer money should ever be used to support a failing institution. Some claim that we receive a subsidy or have and unfair advantage from being perceived as too big to fail—we disagree."
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo [stock WFC] [/stock] posted a first-quarter profit of $5.2 billion, a 22% increase from first the quarter of 2012.
In mortgages alone, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan said they expanded the number of employees working on the mortgage side of the business in the fourth quarter to constantly improve customer service.
He continued saying, "The mortgage business is still very strong at $109 billion, with the sixth consecutive quarter of originations above $100 billion."
However, even with strong business, Sloan said, "Our expectation is it is probably likely that revenues and margins will come down a little but with that said to the extent it comes down further than we think we’ll adjust cost as our team has done through various cycles on a number of occasions."
Whether additional regulation will be difficult to implement or not, first-quarter earnings is just the beginning step of a long transitional year. For the time being, lenders are left to prepare and adjust for the upcoming changes.