Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Citi is starting to lend....

Citibank has reportedly increased mortgage lending at its retail branches by 60 percent in the past two months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The New York City-based bank, which had to reassess its risk appetite after teetering on the brink of failure, also doubled its mortgage application pipeline in a matter of months.

The overall mortgage application pipeline increased to $2 billion in June from less than $1 billion in February, likely spurred on by record low mortgage rates.

Citi’s North American retail banking business head Brad Dinsmore told the paper that home loans had become a “top priority” for the company, and said most of the applications were likely to turn into loans, partially because of a focus on more affluent customers.

He added that mortgage application volume was strong in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, with 30 percent going toward home purchases rather than refinances.

Additionally, applications for jumbo mortgages are up 30 percent, likely because Citi is offering a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at around five percent, well below competitor rates hovering above 5.6 percent.

Citi has roughly 1,000 retail banking branches in the United States, but recently announced the closure of 376 CitiFinancial branches nationwide and in Canada, along with hundreds of related layoffs.

However, CitiFinancial only offered personal loans and smaller home purchase and refinance loans, which doesn’t seem to be part of their long-term strategy.

I am an actual person so if you are interested in refinancing you can receive real time quotes and payment options by calling me directly.

You can reach me, Gene Neal at 877-276-6400 Ext 101.