Loan production has been falling at Webster Financial Corp., but purchase mortgage originations have been rising and hit 71% of total production in the fourth quarter.
The Waterbury, Conn.-based banking company decided to focus on the purchase mortgage business over two years ago. In 1Q12, just 23% of originations were purchase loans. But company executives knew the refinancing boom would evidently end.
Webster enhanced its loan products, including construction loans, and nearly tripled the number of loan officers to 80, according to Webster senior vice president Simon Tahan.
“With the additional loan officers, we needed to expand our loan programs to provide a one-stop shop at Webster,” he said in an interview.
The retail lender originated $113 million in residential loans in 4Q and 71% were purchase mortgages, down from $180 million in the prior quarter when 53% were purchase mortgages.
Webster Financial has 168 banking centers in four New England states stretching from West Chester County, N.Y., to Boston.