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Citi’s Home Lending Builds Momentum

New home lending activity steamrolled ahead of Citigroup Inc.’s prior-period lending, but the lender’s mortgage servicing portfolio was scaled back.

According to its earnings data report, Citi bankrolled residential loans totaling $8.8 billion in the second quarter.

The banking giant outpaced its first-quarter activity by $1.8 billion, and, as a result, closed $15.8 billion home loans during the first six months of 2015.

The New York-based financier beat second-quarter 2014 volume by $2.6 billion.

Rising to $5.0 billion from $4.4 billion in the first quarter, salable mortgage rate locks indicate Citi’s third-quarter originations could continue the forward push.

As of June 30, Citi’s third-party loan servicing thinned to $165.0 billion from $168.2 billion as of March 31 and $175.9 billion as of June 30, 2014.

Owned loans, however, grew from $37.8 billion at the end of March to $38.9 billion as of the final day in June. At the same time in the preceding year, the real estate loan assets were at $36.4 billion.

The 30-day delinquency rate dropped one basis point to 0.68 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the percent delinquency fell 27 basis points.

Citi Holdings’ servicing portfolio was scaled down to $39.2 billion from $43.4 billion at the end of the first quarter. The gap further widened from the $69.9 billion tally documented at the close of the second quarter a year ago.

Residential assets for Citi Holdings were trimmed down to $51.3 billion from $53.6 billion. The balance sheet was thinner than as of June 30, 2014, when the investment portfolio  at $66.9 billion.

The recent asset total accounted for $22.7 billion in home-equity loans and $28.6 billion in first mortgages.

The 30-day or more delinquency rate for Citi Holding’s mortgage portfolio improved 10 BPS to 5.21 percent. Compared to the same time last year, the rate has fallen 166 BPS.

At the holding-company level, the recent nearly $6.9 billion in income from continuing operations before income taxes fell just behind prior quarter earnings at more than $6.9 billion. The year-over-year change, however, was up by $4.7 billion.

On June 30, Citi’s company-wide staff count was 237,000. The lender reported 2,000 fewer employees than at the end of March. Citi had 7,000 less people on the payroll than at mid-year 2014.

The global consumer banking division branches in North America, slipped to 779 from 788 just three months prior, while the North American foothold for Citi Holding was down by five branches to 273.

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