The decision to add personnel comes at a time when mortgage originations have been declining significantly because of higher interest rates.
TD’s brand, business model and culture are all differentiators for its mortgage business, says Mike Copley, executive vice president retail lending. The bank came through the recession unscathed and has nearly 30% compound annual growth in mortgage banking since 2010.
It feels good about its prospects for the upcoming fiscal year starting on Nov. 1 to make investments to continue to grow the mortgage business, although it is not expecting to continue that 30% growth rate in 2014, he says. The market may not be as robust as TD would like but there is an opportunity to expand and it will take advantage of that.
The bank has hired 50 loan officers in fiscal year 2013, which will end on Oct. 31.
All of the hires will be for commissioned outside sales positions who call on referral sources such as Realtors and homebuilders. The company is seeking experienced people to fill the slots.
These positions are located in the bank’s footprint between Maine and Florida. There is no one particular market it is focusing on because it wants to build scale in all of them.
TD’s own economic research shows the Eastern Seaboard will be a positive environment for growth in 2014, Copley says.
TD is a portfolio lender. It does offer Federal Housing Administration, conforming and jumbo products.
There is a first-time homebuyer product, known as Right Step.
It offers a 15/1 adjustable-rate mortgage with a 30-year amortization schedule. It creates a higher degree of affordability than the standard 15/1 ARM with a 15-year amortization schedule, Copley says.
TD also will continue to offer interest-only loans through its wealth management division, even though this loan will not meet the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage definition. The division serves borrowers which have higher disposable income and a deeper relationship with TD and these factors make offering the IO a risk worth taking, he adds.