SAN FRANCISCO -- In a move to cut its losses, Ford Motor Co. has put up for sale its San Francisco-based thrift subsidiary, First Nationwide Financial Corp., according to investment banking sources.

The giant automaker recently hired J.P. Morgan Securities as investment banker to test buyer interest in $16.7 billion-asset First Nationwide, the sources said. The unit is parent of First Nationwide Bank, the nation's fifth-largest thrift.

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