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Laura Schulte will retire by the end of the year as one of Wells Fargo’s highest-ranking executives in Charlotte.

Wells Fargo’s retiring head of Eastern community banking told the Observer Thursday that a key task for her successor will be maintaining the company’s reputation with customers at a time when the public’s trust for banks is still recovering from the financial crisis.

Lenders have come under fire in Washington in recent years. Yet one corner of the financial industry – lending to people with poor credit scores – has found sympathetic audiences in many state capitals.

Some Bank of America customers have been double-billed for purchases made using Apple Pay, the new mobile payments system that debuted this week, the Charlotte bank said Wednesday.

Federal regulators are proceeding with new rules that ease guidelines for banks selling mortgage securities and could mean fewer borrowers will need to make hefty down payments.

Of all the cash that has passed through Charlotte’s banks, one of the rarest notes still in existence is going up for auction on Saturday.

A federal regulator says government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reached an agreement with major banks that could expand lending.

Carousel Capital, a Charlotte-based private equity firm, on Monday said it made an equity investment in Joe Hudson’s Collision Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based automotive collision repair service.

The European Central Bank has started buying securities called covered bonds as it launches its latest stimulus effort aimed at preventing the 18-country eurozone economy from sinking back into recession.

Wells Fargo’s new head of Eastern U.S. community banking had planned to have a career as an opera singer – not a banker.

The Winston-Salem lender declined to disclose the exact amount of jobs lost in the Charlotte region but told the Observer it was a “small percentage.”

Bank of America on Wednesday said the Charlotte-based bank managed only a small third-quarter profit after spending billions on legal costs, but executives touted progress in one area: cutting costs.

Laura Schulte, Wells Fargo’s highest-ranking community banking executive in Charlotte, will retire from the company before the end of the year, the lender announced Thursday.

During Bank of America’s third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, CEO Brian Moynihan found himself fielding questions from analysts on the bank’s decision earlier this month to make him chairman of the company.

As the largest U.S. mortgage lender, Wells Fargo is often looked at as a bellwether for the housing market as a whole. On Tuesday, CEO John Stumpf described that market as facing a list of challenges holding back its recovery from the bursting of the housing bubble.

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Bank Watch

Five years after a global financial meltdown shook Charlotte, some insiders say banks still vulnerable to risk.


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