Times Staff and Wire Reports

Wells Fargo to Leave Mortgage Lending Business: The nation's ninth-largest banking company said it will also cut 450 related jobs as growing competition for fewer borrowers has slashed profit margins. The layoffs, which affect 2.3% of Wells Fargo & Co.'s staff of about 19,500, take effect today. Employees affected include the mortgage loan sales force and first mortgage loan processors. The San Francisco-based company, which owns the second-largest bank in California, said it will form an alliance with a national mortgage lender in order to provide home loans for its customers.

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