First National Bank of Arizona Halts Retail Mortgage Lending

January 24, 2008 No Comments »

Scottsdale-based 1st National Bank of Arizona (FBNA) is halting its retail mortgage lending activities, resulting in 35 layoffs, according to The Arizona Republic.

The bank will now focus on serving its small business customers and plans to broker out home loans to other mortgage lenders.

“It is difficult to make money in that business these days,” Chief Administrative Officer Joel Gottesman said.  “Our focus primarily is serving business customers,” he added. “We have very strong operations in that area.”

Gottesman said loans previously locked would be honored, but those that are not will likely be canceled.

The retail mortgage services had previously been offered at 15 branches in Arizona and 12 in Nevada.

Last August, FBNA shut down its wholesale and correspondent lending channels as the mortgage crisis took center stage, resulting in more than 500 layoffs.

FBNA had dealt primarily in Alt-A lending, and a move to originate agency-backed loans after the secondary market froze up proved unsuccessful.

Check out the latest list of mortgage layoffs, closures and mergers.

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