Wells Fargo Cuts Back on Realtor Partnerships

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Now it's time for Wells Fargo to slash its Realtor joint ventures that engage in mortgage banking activities.

Industry sources — including some top ranked Realtors — told 9 that Wells Fargo & Co. has completed a review of its Realtor mortgage joint ventures and plans to slash the number of these operations down to roughly 14 by early 2013.

A bank spokesman confirmed to NMN the cutbacks, noting that we will "support all our current JVs through the remainder of this year."

When asked how many JVs might be cut, she did not know but said 14 will survive by 2013.

"We've dissolved alliances [in the past] and we'll continue to dissolve alliances," she said.

In general, under a JV arrangement Wells and a realty firm have joint ownership in a mortgage banking operation.

One realty executive, requesting anonymity, said at one point a few years back Wells had "hundreds of these things." He estimates that at the beginning of 2012 Wells may've had 80 active JVs with Realtors.

The loans produced through these companies wind up being reported as retail production by Wells.

The Wells spokesman told NMN that the bank is dissolving the JVs because of "regulatory rule changes."

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