A press statement earlier today from National City Corporation said that the company intends to merge its separate Home Equity and Mortgage units:
In a move to streamline its mortgage operations, National City Corporation today announced that it is integrating its National Home Equity business unit into National City Mortgage Company. National City continues to offer home mortgage and equity lines and loans directly to customers through its more than 1,300 retail bank branches. In addition, National City Mortgage continues to originate first mortgage loans through National City's bank branches, more than 400 retail mortgage branches and a wholesale and correspondent lending network. As part of the integration of National Home Equity into National City Mortgage, certain National Home Equity account executives and sales managers will join National City Mortgage's wholesale division, where they will market a full set of mortgage products. The remaining NHE sales and support positions will be eliminated. National City will provide resources and support to those affected.
National Home Equity has suspended its origination activity since August 6, and the company said that the merger was taking place because it expects market woes to last for an extended period of time:
"While we cannot predict with any certainty when the markets will begin to function more normally, we believe that the reduction in marketability of many mortgage products will continue for some time," said National City Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey D. Kelly. "The integration of National Home Equity into National City Mortgage is among a number of steps we have taken to help navigate changing conditions in the mortgage markets."
The depth of the pending job cuts were not disclosed in the statement, and have not been mentioned in any stories I've seen covering this so far.