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Citi Abandons Broker Business

Majority of impacted employees to be reassigned

Feb. 1, 2012

By staff

Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage lending unit is getting out of wholesale lending.

The New York-based company said in a statement Wednesday that its CitiMortgage Inc. subsidiary will transition away from mortgage broker business. The move was made only "after careful consideration."

The lender will instead "sharpen our focus on a customer-centric channel strategy."

Mortgage lending will now be originated through just the retail and correspondent channels.

Citi suspended correspondent originations in June 2009 as it sought to re-engineer its process and strengthen quality controls. But the channel was reopened a month later, while the following March the financial behemoth disclosed plans to expand correspondent lending.

The majority of wholesale lending employees are expected to be placed in similar positions within other parts of the company.

"Making this decision now affords us the opportunity to better serve the financial needs of our customers," the statement said. "Additionally, it allows us to invest our resources in growing those channels that align the mortgage business with the overarching customer-centric strategy of our North American consumer bank."

It's not the first time that Citi scaled back it wholesale business.

In April 2010, Citi stopped accepting FHA business from some brokers. At the time, Citi highlighted the Department of Housing and Urban Development's final rule eliminating FHA's requirement that brokers obtain a separate FHA approval.

Citi reported $63.2 billion in total mortgage production during 2011, though the company didn't break out broker share.

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