Timeline of Golden West’s History

Timeline of Selected Events in Golden West’s History

1963 Golden West Financial Corporation forms to purchase a small savings and loan associated based in Oakland, CA.
December 1968 Golden West becomes a public company. The company’s ticker symbol is “GDW.”
1971 Golden West lists on the New York Stock Exchange.
1981 The Federal Home Loan Bank Board uses its regulatory powers to authorize adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) for federally chartered financial institutions. Golden West’s California subsidiary converts from a state to a federal charter. Along with other major thrifts on the West Coast, Golden West begins offering its version of an ARM structured for portfolio lenders with built-in protections for borrowers.
1988 Golden West Chairman, Herbert M. Sandler, twice testifies before the Senate Banking Committee describing the genesis of the costly savings and loan scandal and urging quick Congressional action. Mr. Sandler speaks of bungled deregulation, lack of government oversight and dishonest managements, all compounded by economic difficulties in the Southwest and other oil producing areas.
1989 Congress passes the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which requires higher capital standards, something for which Golden West had been advocating. At yearend, Golden West, one of the nation’s best capitalized institutions, exceeds not only the immediate FIRREA-mandated capital ratios, but also the fully phased-in requirements that go into effect in 1995.
1992 Fortune Magazine names Golden West “America’s Most Admired Savings Institution” for the third consecutive year.
January 2002 Moody’s Investor Service raises the credit ratings for Golden West and World Savings, bringing the rating of World Savings’ long-term unsecured debt to the “double A” level, the highest ever achieved by an independent thrift. Moody’s cites the company’s “continued success in generating very strong risk-adjusted profitability, while maintaining conservative risk management and a strong capital position.”
2003 Mortgage bankers (unlike Golden West that kept loans in its portfolio) begin originating large volumes of their riskier version of an Option ARM for securitization and sale to investors. The mortgage banking version of the Option ARM removes borrower-friendly structural protections (that had been used by portfolio lenders for decades) and thereby significantly increases the risk of payment shock. See a chart showing the differences between the Golden West portfolio Option ARM and the riskier mortgage banker Option ARM. Golden West management warns regulators and others about the dangers of the mortgage bank Option ARM. Golden West management also advocates against proposed Basel regulations that would weaken capital standards. View 2003 letter.
2005 For the eighth straight year, Golden West has zero loan chargeoffs. For the seventh straight year, Golden West is named one of Fortune’s Most Admired Financial Institutions. Golden West continues to advocate for strong capital regulations. View 2005 Letter.
January 2006
Golden West writes to regulators, urging strong capital regulations, including maintaining a minimum leverage ratio to protect against excessive growth and risk, requiring sufficient capital to be held for residential mortgages, and avoiding actions that would create incentives for banks to game the system. View January 2006 letter.
March 2006 Golden West writes to regulators, urging greater oversight of emerging risks in the mortgage industry, including a growing securitization market willing to acquire greater volumes of riskier mortgage banker loans and diluted underwriting and appraisal practices used by some lenders. View March 2006 letter.
May 2006 The company enters into an agreement to sell to Wachovia Corporation. The transaction with Wachovia closes in October 2006.
December 2008 Wells Fargo acquires Wachovia.