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Citi exits wholesale mortgage lending

Citigroup (C) will no longer originate new mortgages through its wholesale broker channels, the bank said Wednesday.

Citi originated $21.1 billion in new home loans in the fourth quarter, down 3% from the same period the year before.

In wholesale lending, mortgage brokers gather documentation and information on the borrower and pair him or her with a lender.

Correspondent lenders, which other major firms such as Bank of America (BAC) exited last year, are linked to a specific lender and have the authority to approve mortgages before sellling the loans to the institution.

Citi said it would be able to invest more resources to its correspondent and retail channels by exiting wholesale.

"Strategically, this move allows us to focus our attention and efforts on our retail and correspondent channels, which have the highest opportunity of increasing long-term engagement with our clients," the bank said in a statement.

The bank will transition a majority of its employees within the broker channel to "similar roles within the business."

jprior@housingwire.com

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