NOV 2, 2012

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What We're Hearing

Ally Financial, Jumbo Mortgages, and Brokered Deposits

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Anyone who has been reading Ally Financial’s earnings reports the past two years knows the firm loathes mortgage banking and loves auto lending. And as we all know, it’s in the throes of dumping its bankrupt Residential Capital Corp. division. But according to the bank holding company’s just released earnings statement, apparently it doesn’t totally hate residential finance. It will be originating – through brokers and correspondents – jumbo loans that it plans to keep in portfolio. I guess in the end, lending to ‘rich folks’ is a safe bet. (I would guess that down the road it will sell some of those jumbos to Redwood Trust, but that’s only a guess.) Anyway, how is Ally funding its production? Answer: Internet deposits. Ally has no traditional bank branches. At Sept. 30 it had $49.9 billion of total deposits, up from $48 billion at mid-year. And here’s an interesting fact: almost $10 billion of its deposits are ‘brokered.’ In the old days brokered deposits were considered ‘hot money’ and were frowned upon by banking regulators. Of course, we’re living in different times. More interesting times, you might say.

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