A new study by the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks has found that FHLBank members are no more likely to originate jumbo mortgages than nonmembers, contradicting a study by Freddie Mac."We also find that the largest users of advances (in terms of dollar volume) in 2003 do not originate or retain a disproportionate share of jumbo mortgages," said economists with Welch Consulting, who conducted the study using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. The data show that jumbo loans constituted 8.1% of FHLBank member production, compared with 9.4% for nonmembers. The Freddie Mac study reported that half of FHLBank advances were used to fund jumbo loans. FHLBank critics cite the Freddie study in contending that FHLBank advances do little to promote affordable housing. "It is clear that any criticism of the FHLBank members implying excessive jumbo loan mortgage activities relative to conforming loan originations is without merit," the council's study says.

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