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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
'Job cuts' at US mortgage lender
The exterior of the Countrywide home loans office in San Mateo, California
Countrywide has been affected by the sub-prime loans crisis in the US
Countrywide Financial, the biggest US mortgage firm, has begun laying off staff as it tries to weather the credit crunch, according to US media reports.

The company has been hit by sub-prime mortgage defaults as rising interest rates in the US have made it harder for people to pay their mortgages.

Countrywide's shares have slumped amid investor fears it may face bankruptcy.

The job cuts are being made in the firm's Full Spectrum lending unit, says the Wall Street Journal's website.

It says that an email was sent on Friday by one of the firm's senior managers discussing the redundancies, but did not specify how many jobs would be lost.

The lender is now reported to be ready to cut costs, as it becomes more difficult to sell higher-risk mortgages.

Last week Countrywide said it had tightened its lending standards.

Many of its sub-prime loans are given to borrowers who not furnish paperwork proving their income.

At the end of June, Full Spectrum employed 6,785 staff, according to figures registered at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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13 Mar 07 |  Business
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26 Jul 05 |  Business

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