Wells Fargo reported financial results for the fourth quarter and for the fiscal year 2006 today, which showed that mortgage origination volume remained strong at the nation’s largest loan servicer. Mortgage originations were reported at $398 billion for 2006, up 9 percent from one year ago. The company also reported that its owned mortgage servicing portfolio topped $1.37 billion in 2006, an increase of 38 percent and placing Wells Fargo among the two largest mortgage servicers in the nation; only Countrywide now rivals the portfolio size of the banking giant.
â€œThe past year has been a very challenging year for the mortgage industry with the flat to inverted yield curve and a slowdown in the housing sector,â€? said Mark Oman, senior EVP, Home and Consumer Finance Group. â€œDespite this environment, we continued our long track record of growing our mortgage servicing businesses at double-digit rates, which provides opportunities to cross-sell and retain these customers. We remain very disciplined in residential real estate lending by ensuring that our product offering is appropriate for both our customers and the investors in our securities. We have not offered some of the higher-risk products, such as the payment option ARM.â€? The company said its number of mortgage servicing customers reached 7.6 million, up 37 percent from prior year, and that its mortgage application pipeline stood at $48 billion at the close of the year, down from $50 billion at the end of 2005. For more information, visit http://www.wellsfargo.com.