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Best Mortgage Training

Innovation and creativity important in Training magazine ranking

March 23, 2005


A magazine publication has ranked companies based on their development and training of employees, and the highest ranking mortgage companies are not necessarily the biggest.

About 15% of the companies in Training magazine's latest ranking of the Training Top 100 were mortgage-related entities.

Training magazine's 2005 "Training Top 100" list is a national survey of organizations that excel at workforce development.

Filling the No. 10 spot -- and therefore the highest ranking mortgage-related entity on the list -- was Ohio Savings Bank.

While the financial services company is comprised of 2,328 employees, "the training and development team develops innovative and unique programs that are on par with much larger companies," the magazine said -- including thinking big when certification is involved.

For example, if a senior customer service rep wants to become a personal banking specialist, an IRA training program must be completed. The magazine also commended Ohio Savings for its new employee orientation program. It is designed around a radio station theme such as presenting the bank's history as an OSB Oldies segment, or having career development consultants, benefits experts, and several bank executives stop by throughout the orientation as "in-studio guests" and sharing with the new hires insight into their specific business unit and role.

An Ohio Savings Bank representative reportedly told the magazine that it's important to give employees their space. "It's important for me to hire the best people and let them excel," the representative said. "We let strong performers reach for and achieve their highest potential."

Training magazine editors determine the winners by looking at things such as the companies' financial investments in workforce development, the type and scope of training and development programs, and how closely the training is linked to business goals, according to an announcement.

The second best mortgage-associated trainer was Capital One Financial Corp. at No. 18 on the list.

Following at No. 19 was Edward Jones, which provides home financing through Edward Jones Mortgage.

The remaining top half of the ranking included Wachovia Corp. in 22nd place; Wells Fargo & Co. at No. 30; BB&T in slot 34; HSBC- North America, parent to Household International Inc., was No. 35; and Cendant Mortgage filled spot No. 40.

Within the top 70 were Regions Financial Corp. at No. 66, followed by the parent of PNC Bank, PNC Financial Services Group, just one spot behind.

Regions announced that it was chosen "in part for its commitment to associate development and innovative classroom and online training."

Those ongoing training methods, in addition to instruction and guidance in team building, leadership development and sales, are offered to associates in the areas of retail, commercial, mortgage, operations and trust.

In all, Regions provides more than 200 in-house courses and seminars and over 700 computer-based and WebEx training opportunities to more than 25,000 associates each year.

"At Regions, we believe that a key part of our competitive advantage comes from comprehensive training programs that equip associates with the right tools to help the company execute its business strategy," said Regions head of human resources John Daniel in the announcement. "In fact, one of our key values as a company is growth and learning opportunities for performance-oriented associates."

The last of the mortgage-associated companies on Training's ranking at No. 71 was Scotiabank, which says it is one of North America's leading financial institutions and Canada's most international bank.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

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