Countrywide Financial on Monday ran advertisements seeking to reassure customers it's safe to do business with the company, while a published report said the largest U.S. mortgage lender has begun layoffs to help cope with a credit crunch.
The company ran full-page ads in Monday editions of The New York Times and other newspapers assuring customers that problems in the mortgage market don't affect the safety of federally-insured deposits at its Countrywide Bank unit. It also said the bank is "well capitalized" and that "the future is bright."
Countrywide did not immediately return several requests for comment.
The company ran the ads after customers armed with withdrawal slips descended on branches last Thursday and Friday, worried that their money was not safe even with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. backing.
Fear about Countrywide's stability grew after the Calabasas, Calif.-based company unexpectedly tapped an entire $11.5 billion credit line to help fund operations.