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Biggest Bank LendersFDIC reports Q4 financial institution activity

March 11, 2009

By staff

As fourth quarter mortgage originations fell for federally insured financial institutions, credit line and repurchase activity soared. The biggest bank, as measured by assets, had more than $2 billion in repurchases — nearly doubling from the prior period.Wells Fargo Bank NA originated $19.0 billion in retail mortgages during the first quarter, making it the biggest retail mortgage lender among government-insured banks, according to data provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to Retail activity at the San Francisco-based bank dropped from $21.4 billion during the third quarter.

The data were based on reports from 682 institutions with assets of at least $1 billion or quarterly mortgage originations of more than $10 million as of Dec. 31.

With $8.5 billion in retail fundings, Bank of America NA was No. 2. BoA’s retail activity declined from the third quarter’s $8.8 billion.

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA was No. 3 at $7.0 billion in retail business, easing from $7.2 billion; and National City Bank, which saw retail fundings fall to $3.1 billion from $3.5 billion, was No. 4. The fifth highest level of retail production was at SunTrust Bank, where fourth-quarter volume was $2.3 billion, tumbling from $3.7 billion.

Aggregate fourth-quarter retail volume at all 682 banks was $66.7 billion, down from $70.8 billion three months earlier.

FDIC-insured institutions had outstanding retail home-equity line-of-credit commitments of $1.8 billion, climbing from $1.3 billion in the third quarter. Principal HELOC outstanding was $0.8 billion, up from $0.6 billion.

Wells was also the biggest wholesale mortgage lender, with $44.5 billion in fourth-quarter wholesale production reported for Wells Fargo Bank NA, up from $43.9 billion, and $18.3 billion reported for Wells Fargo Bank S Cntl NA, climbing from the third quarter’s $17.4 billion.

No. 2 was JPMorgan, where fourth-quarter wholesale fundings were $18.7 billion, falling from $23.0 billion the prior period. Next was Citibank National Association, which originated $12.7 billion in wholesale business, down from the third quarter’s $18.8 billion; then Colonial Bank, with fourth-quarter third-party originations falling to $12.4 billion from $14.7 billion; and GMAC Bank, with $6.4 billion in wholesale production, down from $8.9 billion in the third quarter.

Aggregate wholesale business at all the reporting institutions was $148.0 billion during the final quarter of 2008, easing from the third quarter’s $157.7 billion.

Wholesale HELOC commitments stood at $1.9 billion during the latest period, climbing from $1.0 billion on Sep. 30, 2008. Fourth-quarter wholesale HELOC principal was $1.2 billion for the wholesale channel, soaring from $0.6 billion.

Repurchase activity was highest at JPMorgan, which reported that fourth-quarter repurchases were $2.3 billion — more than doubling from $1.0 billion in the prior period.

BoA repurchases were $0.4 billion, rising from the third quarter’s $0.3 billion; while National City said its repurchases increased to $0.2 billion from $0.1 billion. No. 4 was Wells Fargo, which saw repurchases increase slightly to $0.1 billion; and Fifth Third Bank, where fourth-quarter repurchases increased to $0.1 billion from less than $0.1 billion.

Total repurchases at all reporting institutions jumped to $3.3 billion from the third-quarter’s $1.9 billion.

By assets, JPMorgan was the biggest FDIC-insured institution, with $1.746 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2008. BoA was next, at $1.472 trillion, then Citibank, at $1.231 trillion. No. 4 was Wachovia, which had $0.635 trillion in assets at the end of last year, then Wells Fargo, where yearend assets stood at $0.539 trillion.

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