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) -- Bond insurer


(MBI) - Get MBIA Inc. Report

will announce fourth-quarter earnings after market close Wednesday.

In November MBIA reported third-quarter net income of $444 million, or $2.26 per share, compared with a net loss of $213 million, or $1.06 per share, for the third quarter of 2010.

The Armonk, NY-based insurer is at the heart of a battle over mortgage-backed securities issued by

Bank of America's

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Countrywide unit. 

MBIA has accused Bank of America and Countrywide of misrepresenting the quality of over 300,000 loans packaged as mortgage-back securities that MBIA insured leading up to the financial crisis in 2008. Because many of those loans either underperformed or defaulted, MBIA was forced to pay claims and was pushed into restructuring in 2010.

In January Bank of America appealed a ruling in New York State Supreme Court that set a lower bar for MBIA to prove its allegations against Countrywide.

Goldman Sachs

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Wells Fargo

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disclosed Tuesday that they may face civil claims tied to the sale of mortgage-backed securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Both banks said that they received so-called "Wells Notices." The banks revealed the notices as part of annual 10K disclosures filed with the SEC.

A Wells Notice is formal letter issued by the regulator when it plans to bring a civil case against a firm or individual.

"On February 24, 2012, the firm received a "Wells" notice from the staff of the SEC with respect to the disclosures contained in the offering documents used in connection with a late 2006 offering of approximately $1.3 billion of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities underwritten by GS&Co," Goldman said in its filing. "The firm will be making a submission to, and intends to engage in a dialogue with, the SEC staff seeking to address their concerns."

Wells Fargo said that SEC investigation focuses on whether the bank violated fair lending or other laws in its mortgage operations and whether it properly disclosed risks of in the offering documents of MBS securities.

"Wells Fargo continues to provide information requested by the various agencies in connection with certain investigations," the annual report said.

The European Central Bank handed out billions in cheap loans to local banks Wednesday as part of if it's long-term refinancing operations (LTRO).

A survey conducted by

Bloomberg News

said that analysts expected the ECB to hand out 470 billion in three-year loans on on top of the first LTRO go around of $489 billion in December of last year.

But the ECB announced that demand was greater than expected, and it will lend 800 financial institutions 529.5 billion euros, or $712.2 billion, according to