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Fifth Third Results Better

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The mortgage servicing portfolio grew, earnings improved and quarterly originations strengthened at Fifth Third Bancorp. The lender said it saw a rush to close loans during the last three months of last year.

The Cincinnati-based company reported Thursday $7.4 billion in fourth-quarter mortgage originations. Production picked up from $5.6 billion reported for the third quarter.

Home-loan fundings at Fifth Third were only $4.8 billion during the fourth-quarter 2009.

Aggregate production for all 12 months of 2010 was $20.3 billion, based on current and previously reported data. During 2009, the total was $21.0 billion.

Fifth Third said that its mortgage servicing portfolio grew to $54 billion from $52 billion on Sept. 30. At the end of the previous year, the servicing portfolio was $49 billion.

“Gain-on-sale margins declined in the fourth quarter from record levels in the third quarter due to rising mortgage rates in the quarter and the closing of a higher than expected percentage of applications during the quarter,” the report said.

Fourth-quarter net income jumped to $333 million from the third quarter’s $238 million. Earnings reversed a $98 million fourth-quarter 2009 loss.

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