Bank of America unveiled a plan Thursday to close its wholesale mortgage division, leaving it with just one production channel in residential finance: retail.Among lenders that table-fund through loan brokers, BoA ranked 10th in the second quarter but first among retailers, according to exclusive figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report. As part of the move, 700 positions will be eliminated. In 2001 BoA exited the correspondent channel entirely and liquidated its subprime origination business. "We're proud of our record in wholesale," said Floyd Robinson, president of the bank's consumer real estate group, but he added that the bank would rather focus its resources only on retail, where it believes it has a competitive advantage -- namely, 6,000 branches. (For the full story, see the Oct. 29 issue of NMN.)

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