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Wells CEO: We're Biggest Mortgage Lender

Proclamation comes amid competing claims

Sept. 10, 2018

By Mortgage Daily staff

Despite claims to the contrary, the chief executive officer of Wells Fargo & Co., Timothy Sloan, contends that his company is the biggest mortgage lender in the country.

San Francisco-based Wells has held the No. 1 position in single-family loan originations since it wrestled the title away from Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008.

But in February of this year, Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. announced "it has become the nation's largest residential mortgage lender in the 4th quarter of 2017."

Quicken reported as part of the Mortgage Daily Fourth Quarter 2017 Mortgage Origination Survey that it closed $25.2 billion in home loans. However, a company spokesman didn't respond to a request for clarification about how much of its business was generated through third-party channels.

Wells reported $53 billion in fourth-quarter 2017 mortgage production. The total included correspondent acquisitions of $30 billion and retail lending of $23 billion -- the figure that Quicken claims it exceeded.

However, Quicken's claims of being the biggest retail lender have been challenged because of mortgage broker business that it classifies as "retail."

While Wells hadn't weighed in on the claims, Sloan, its CEO, said multiple times on Sunday while speaking at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals' annual conference that the bank-holding company is the biggest mortgage lender.

Sloan made the comments while talking about the importance of the Hispanic market.

"If we want to be a successful financial institution in this country, we've gotta be in the that business and we want to continue to grow it," he said.

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