Norwest Mortgage has hired an additional 112 former employees of besieged subprime lender United Companies Financial Corp. of Baton Rouge.

The mortgage unit of Wells Fargo & Co. had previously hired 30 account executives from United Cos. for its wholesale lending unit.

The 112 hires started work Monday in the former United Cos. office that had become the new Baton Rouge operations center of Directors Acceptance, Norwest's subprime unit.

The employees work in back-office functions such as underwriting and funding.

Norwest will begin directing subprime business to the new center in February or March, after the employees' training is complete, a spokesman said.

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