Several Federal Reserve policymakers want to begin selling securities relatively soon as a way to cut back their massive supply of cash to the financial system, the U.S. central bank said on Wednesday.

Policymakers were unanimous in the view that it will be appropriate to shrink the supply of reserve balances and the size of the balance sheet substantially over time, minutes of the Fed's January policy meeting said.

Several thought it important to begin a program of asset sales in the near future to ensure that the Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrink more quickly.

Many investors worry that home loan rates might move sharply higher if the Fed were to begin selling its mortgage bonds.

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by James Dalgleish.)