Wells Fargo & Co. laid off 2,500 mortgage originators in a tough first quarter and told another 2,000 that they would be gone by July.
The value of new mortgages that the firm wrote declined by slightly more than a third, compared with the last three months of 2010.
The company's net headcount dropped by 2,000 in the first three months of the year to 270,200, a .7% decline. However, it set aside $5.8 billion for salaries, commissions and incentive payments in the quarter, 9.3% more than in the year-earlier period.
Wells Fargo also kept its ranks of financial advisors unchanged and maintained 16,000 workers to modify delinquent mortgages.
The company reported a profit of $3.8 billion, up from $2.6 billion in the year-earlier period. However, much of the gain could be attributed to setting aside less money to cover bad loans. Wells Fargo revenue fell 5.2% to $20.3 billion.
Investors were not pleased by the report. Shares of the stock quickly dropped by about 4% in trading this morning.
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