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Former Lending Giant Restructures

First Horizon consolidates wind-down mortgage businesses

April 8, 2010

By staff

First Horizon National Corp. -- which once ranked among the 20 biggest residential lenders -- disclosed a modification to its operating structure that includes the consolidation of mortgage businesses it plans to wind down.

In 2007, First Horizon originated $27 billion, ranking it among the country's 20 biggest residential lenders at a time when companies like Countrywide Financial Corp., IndyMac Bancorp Inc., Wachovia Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc. were still in the game.

After suffering some big losses in its one-time-close construction lending portfolio, the Memphis, Tenn.-based institution sold around 250 First Horizon Home Loans branches outside Tennessee in August 2008 to MetLife Bank, N. A. The deal included an origination platform, a servicing platform and a $19 billion first lien servicing portfolio.

That unit now operates as MetLife Home Loans.

In a statement today, First Horizon announced that its operating segments were restructured during the first quarter. The move was made to better align the strategic focus on the regional banking franchise and capital markets business.

Under the new structure, a non-strategic segment combines the former mortgage banking and national specialty lending segments with other wind-down businesses including national commercial and consumer lending loan portfolios, a trust preferred loan portfolio and legacy mortgage servicing.

First lien production, however, was moved to the regional bank segment from the mortgage banking segment.

First Horizon said it employs 5,500 people at around 180 bank locations.

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