Ex-Wells Fargo chief executive Richard Kovacevich is on record as saying that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be abolished, but his successor and former top deputy, John Stumpf, has a much different view.

At an investor conference in London Tuesday, Stumpf said that he believes the government-sponsored enterprises need to be retained in some form because the guarantee they provide is important to investors. If investors are skittish about buying mortgages, then banks would have to retain more of the loans, leaving them with less money to lend.

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