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Citi adds Liz Bryant to mortgage exec team

Liz Bryant spent 23 years at Wells Fargo before she announced her departure in March

Depository bank Citi continues to round out its mortgage executive team under the stewardship of Brad Wayman. Citi announced this week that it had appointed industry veteran Liz Bryant as the new head of retail mortgage sales for the U.S.

Bryant comes to the St. Louis-headquartered lending operation following a long career at Wells Fargo, the top depository bank by mortgage origination volume in the U.S. Bryant announced her resignation from Wells Fargo in March.

Prior to joining Citi, Bryant was national sales manager and an executive vice president. Before that, she ran the San Francisco-based lender’s retail fulfilment and home equity division. Bryant, who began her career in mortgage banking in 1992, also worked as a sales manager in the Western Region for more than a decade.

“In addition to her sales and fulfillment chops, she has strong operations and risk and controls experience, which we’re excited to leverage in our growth strategy,” said Wayman, who was named head of mortgage in March. “I’m confident Liz’s strategic leadership will help us further build our best-in-class mortgage sales team.”

Citi, now led by former mortgage head Jane Fraser, was the 23rd-largest residential mortgage lender in America by origination volume in 2020, according to a data analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. The bank funded $33.94 billion in residential mortgages last year.

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In its quarterly earnings statement, Citi reported $5.6 billion in originations in the second quarter, down from $5.7 billion in the first quarter and $6.4 billion a year ago. As of June 30, Citi had a servicing portfolio of $38.4 billion, down from $39.4 billion the prior quarter and $43.5 billion during the second quarter of 2020.

Bryant’s departure from Wells Fargo comes at a difficult time for Wells Fargo, which has lost more than two dozen top mortgage bankers over the past 18 months. Senior executives including J.R. Russell, Rakesh Sheth and Mani Sulur have also left amid a leadership reshuffling under CEO Charlie Scharf. Russell also landed at Citi, where he is now head of direct-to-consumer sales (Sheth landed at U.S. Bank and Sulur at USAA).

The San Francisco-based bank is still under a 2018 federal consent order related to improperly selling mortgage and auto-loan products, practices that resulted in a $1 billion penalty.

Wells Fargo made $1.23 billion in net income on mortgage originations and loan sales in the second quarter, down slightly from $1.38 billion in the first quarter. In all, origination volume tallied $53.2 billion in the second quarter, up from $51.7 billion in the first quarter but well below the $59.2 billion originated in the second quarter of 2020.

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