Kovacevich Says Only About 20 Institutions Caused Credit Crisis

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Richard Kovacevich, the former chairman and chief executive officer at Wells Fargo & Co., said less than two dozen institutions caused the financial crisis and new regulations are hurting innocent commercial banks.

“Twenty financial institutions were the primary ones involved in the financial crisis,” Kovacevich, 69, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen. “About half of those were S&Ls. The other 10 were basically investment banks, not commercial banks,” he said, referring to savings and loan institutions. There are more than 7,000 other U.S. banks “that are being punished that did nothing wrong,” he said.

Wells Fargo is the biggest U.S. home lender. The company is based in San Francisco.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net