BOK Financial exits correspondent lending

Lending

BOK Financial announced on Thursday that it plans to shut down its correspondent lending channel, effective Dec. 31, 2016, after an evaluation of the lender’s business and current market conditions.

As a result of the changes, approximately 35 employees will be impacted, which make up about 5% of mortgage division employees.

BOK Financial, however, said that all those impacted will be given priority consideration for job openings in mortgage, as well as other positions across BOK Financial for which each is qualified.

The company said it will stop accepting new business on Sept. 2, giving its customers a 30-days notice.  

“We constantly evaluate our business strategies to ensure our investments are resulting in the most competitive and profitable opportunities. This decision is in line with our corporate culture to focus on long-term stability rather than short-term financial gains,” said Pat Piper, executive vice president of consumer banking services for BOK Financial.

“BOK Financial remains committed to our retail and online consumer direct channels, and we will continue to invest in our people and in technology that enhances the overall client experience.”

It was just a few months ago in May that BOK Financial expanded in the correspondent space, announcing a new credit union segment under its correspondent division. The lender promoted Angelo Zakis at the time to oversee the new credit union segment as national account manager.

And in March, ABA Community Bank Mortgage, a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association, announced it chose BOK Financial Correspondent Lending as its secondary market investor.

But now, amid extended low interest rates, the company has decided to instead focus its investments on its retail and online consumer direct channels.

“We’ve seen tremendous year-over-year growth in our online consumer direct mortgage company, HomeDirect Mortgage, since it launched in 2013. HomeDirect allows us to serve clients nationwide who are increasingly embracing online origination channels,” said Glenn Brunker, president of BOK Financial Mortgage. “This move will allow us to invest more resources in our online origination business, as well as continue to grow our traditional retail business which is on the ground in the markets we serve.”

BOK Financial launched correspondent mortgage lending in 2011 and cultivated more than 180 bank and credit union client relationships across the country, the company stated. 

Over the year, lenders have fallen on both sides of the fence when it comes to the correspondent market.

While both Ditech Financial and Stonegate Mortgage decided to ramp up their correspondent lending divisions this year, PHH Corporation revealed in its first-quarter earnings that it decided to exit the wholesale/correspondent lending channel.

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