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Correspondent Drives Down Chase Mortgage Volume

Unlike its two peers that have so far reported a quarter-over-quarter increase in mortgage originations, home lending slipped at JPMorgan Chase & Co. thanks to its correspondent business.

In the three months ended June 30, the New York-based company closed $17.6 billion in residential and home-equity loans, off from $17.7 billion funded in the first quarter, according earnings data released Tuesday.

At Wells Fargo & Co., originations shot up 31 percent from the first quarter, while second-quarter production climbed 19 percent at Citigroup Inc.

Full first-half 2014 business at Chase was $35.3 billion.

Business nosedived from the second-quarter 2013, when originations were $49.5 billion.

Second-quarter 2014 volume included $16.8 billion in residential business and $0.802 billion in HEL activity.

While retail originations increased 7 percent from the first quarter to $7.2 billion, correspondent production was down 7 percent to $9.6 billion in the second quarter.

But business could turn higher in the third quarter based on new applications, which increased to $30.1 billion in the most-recent period from $26.1 billion in the first quarter. Both origination channels saw an increase in applications.

The financial services giant’s third-party mortgage servicing portfolio was reduced to $786.2 billion from $803.1 billion three months earlier and $832.0 billion twelve months earlier.

At $166.458 billion, the company’s real estate investment portfolios were little changed from the prior period but off from $171.357 billion at the same point last year. The June 30, 2014, total included $72.555 billion in HELs, $82.810 billion in prime mortgages and $10.583 billion in subprime mortgages.

Excluding purchased credit-impaired loans, 30-day mortgage delinquency improved to 3.04 percent from 3.33 percent at the end of the first quarter and 4.17 percent at the end of the second-quarter 2013.

On the credit-impaired portion of the portfolio, delinquency fell to 14.08 percent from 14.34 percent and plunged from 17.92 percent as of June 30, 2013.

Income before taxes from the mortgage banking unit soared to $1.168 billion from $0.189 billion in the first quarter but fell short of the $1.881 billion earned in the second-quarter 2013.

At the bank holding company level, income before taxes rose to $8.3 billion from $7.5 billion and was $9.3 billion a year earlier.

Mortgage banking staffing has been reduced by 13,000 employees on a year-over-year basis and by 5,000 people on a year-to-date basis. The year-to-date total includes employees and contractors.

There were 141,688 people working in Chase’s consumer and community banking division as of the end of last month. The number of employees was down from 145,651 at the end of the first quarter and 157,886 at the same point in 2013.

Headcount across all businesses was reduced to 245,192 from 246,994 at the end of March. As of the same date in 2013, staffing stood at 254,063.

Since the end of the first quarter, Chase added four community bank branches, bringing the total to 5,636.

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