Publicly traded commercial banks reported relatively steady earnings from their mortgage banking operations in the first quarter, especially given the upheaval stemming from the pandemic and the ensuing interest rate volatility.
A group of 21 banks reported a combined $2.28 billion of mortgage banking income during the first three months of the year, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports. That was up 4.6% from the fourth quarter and an impressive 31.6% gain from the first three months of 2019.
The industry-wide increase in mortgage banking earnings came despite sharp declines at the two companies that generally top the list: Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.
Wells reported a $326.0 million drop in residential mortgage banking income from the fourth quarter. While most mortgage lenders struggle with accounting losses on their mortgage servicing rights when rates fall, Wells actually managed this risk quite effectively. For more on the story and exclusive earnings tables, see the new edition of Inside Mortgage Trends, now available online.
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