Flagstar to expand in warehouse lending by buying Santander portfolio

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Flagstar Bancorp in Troy, Mich., has agreed to buy a mortgage warehouse loan portfolio from Santander Bank.

The $16.8 billion-asset Flagstar said in a press release late Tuesday that it will hire the portfolio's relationship managers. The deal is expected to close by March 31.

Flagstar did not disclose the size of the portfolio or the price it will pay.

Flagstar has completed several acquisitions recently. It agreed in November to buy eight branches in California from East West Bancorp to gain cheap deposits. The company has also acquired Opes Advisors, a retail mortgage originator and wealth advisory firm, and a residential mortgage delegated correspondent lending platform.

Since the financial crisis, Flagstar has been working to diversify its business away from its national mortgage banking model.

"We are pleased to welcome the Santander warehouse lending team to Flagstar," Alessandro DiNello, Flagstar's president and CEO, said in the release.

"We've been a warehouse lender for over 20 years and are excited about the opportunity to strengthen and diversify our mortgage warehouse business," DiNello added. The deal "also allows us to leverage our experience and bring our quality service to more customers in the mortgage marketplace. For our new customers, it means more product choices, including eNotes."

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