For the third straight month now, wholesale/broker endorsements shrank more than retail/direct endorsement volumes. In April, brokers saw 7.4% less volume while retail lenders shrank by 3.3%. Given what we already know about May’s low volume levels, we expect we’ll still be talking about declines in both business channels next month as well.
Brokers still hold a slight edge in total volume over the retail channel, but the gap is closing each month and could easily flip the other direction at any time with how close we are now. Large lenders continue to dominate the volume totals, accounting for 88.9% of volume in April. This is up a minor amount from March, continuing above trend for past 12 months.
We’ve heard a lot about licensing and testing requirements at non-bank originators driving many loan officers to move to national banks to escape these burdens, but at least so far we haven’t seen it affect volumes in the industry.
- Of the top 10 lenders, only 3 have grown retail volume in the last 12 months and 2 of those are non-banks: Generation and One Reverse
- The strongest retail grower over the same period is Metlife (national bank), which continues to grow strongly in both retail and wholesale channels, up 82% and 102%, respectively
- Looking at the fastest growing retail/direct lenders, 4 of the top 5 are non-banks – New Day, Guardian First, and Cooper and Shein (in addition to One Reverse above)
It’s still very early to close the book on this, but at the very least the incremental benefits bank originators should see from licensing requirements is getting muddled among the many other factors affecting retail volumes.
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