Recent operational risk downgrades of various mega-servicers of securitized residential mortgage loans by Fitch Ratings indicate the agency is staying true to its resolution to start a new era in mortgage banking evaluations. It appears to involve more frequent updates of rating criteria.

Diane Pendley, Fitch’s managing director, told this publication the agency’s ratings program is “emphasizing the higher expected levels of performance for servicers” based on developing best practices and proposed new regulation. It is the second expansive downgrade since November 2010 when Fitch assigned a negative outlook to the U.S. residential mortgage servicer sector.

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