Citigroup originated $18 billion in single-family mortgages in the first quarter of 2013, the most in five quarters, but it has no plans to be a big participant in the origination market, National Mortgage News reported April 15.
John Gerspach, the bank’s chief financial officer, told investors and analysts that the lender primarily is focused on offering mortgages to its retail bank customers.
“We are not looking to significantly grow share in mortgages, other than our existing retail banking base,” Gerspach told National Mortgage News.
First quarter originations were up 26 percent from a year ago, but down from $21 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“Mortgage banking volumes remained strong, although margins declined versus the prior year period,” Citigroup said in its first quarter earnings news release, National Mortgage News reported.
The bank’s third-party servicing portfolio dropped to $175.8 billion in the first quarter, down 11 percent from a year prior.
Citigroup continued liquidating assets from Citi Holdings, which had $149 billion in assets including $86 billion in residential first and second mortgages at the end of the first quarter.
“Since the first quarter of 2011, we have reduced the North American mortgage loans in Citi Holdings by 28 percent — driven by $18 billion in pay-downs, $8 billion in asset sales and $8 billion in net losses,” Gerspach told National Mortgage News.
The bank sold $2.8 billion in loans in the first quarter, including $1.8 billion in delinquent mortgages and $1.8 billion in existing loans; a sizeable number of the current loans are modified and once again performing.
“While we are of course encouraged by the sale of these re-performing mortgages, it is still unclear whether buyers will have an appetite for additional sales. We will continue to test the markets,” Gerspach told National Mortgage News.