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Wells Fargo Exits Loan Referral Deals With Builders, Agents

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Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, is ending some marketing arrangements with real estate firms and home builders over concerns about regulatory scrutiny.

The decision, effective Aug. 1, ends the practice of providing payments or services to agents and builders that refer home buyers to the San Francisco-based bank. While it’s illegal to pay for referrals, regulations allow lenders to compensate for things such as co-branded advertising or the use of office space as long as the payment matches the value.