Wells Fargo Claims No. 1 Position as Nation's Retail Mortgage Lender and Servicer
Des Moines, Iowa — March 22, 2007
In 2006, Wells Fargo ranked as both the nation's No. 1 retail mortgage originator and No. 1 mortgage servicer for the full year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. This marks the 15th year in a row that Wells Fargo was the top retail mortgage lender, originating $158.48 billion in loans through its retail channel and earning an industry market share of 14.2 percent. In addition, Wells Fargo grew its servicing portfolio to $1.34 trillion and, with the top ranking in this category, now has 13.2 percent of the nation's home mortgage servicing market share, up from 11 percent in 2005. That represents a 12-month increase in portfolio value of $336 billion, or growth of nearly 34 percent. "Year after year, more homebuyers choose to get their mortgage from us because of our focus on delivering high value to customers and clients, and our reputation for helping to keep customers in their homes when potential financial hardships occur," said Cara Heiden, division president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. "We are consistently recognized by industry experts as one of the best mortgage companies in America for our customer-centric approach to helping customers reach their personal and financial goals." Heiden added that the company's rapid growth in recent years is the result of both seizing market opportunities in lending and increasing the number of customers the company services through loan acquisitions. A significant portion of the servicing growth in 2006 came from Wells Fargo's purchase of Washington Mutual's entire portfolio of government mortgage servicing and a portion of its conforming, fixed-rate servicing portfolio, with loans totaling approximately $140 billion and representing approximately 1.3 million servicing customers. "The WaMu servicing acquisition was the largest of its kind undertaken in our industry," said Heiden. "We were confident we could execute well on the transition for these new customers and their accounts, and by all measures did just that. We take our commitment to being viewed as the premier mortgage servicer to heart. We now service loans for more than 7.7 million customers, which provides us with the scale and expertise that gives Wells Fargo a strategic advantage in the industry." Heiden noted that at the end of 2006, Wells Fargo's foreclosure rate on its servicing portfolio compared favorably to other larger mortgage servicers. Wells Fargo's Home & Consumer Finance Group includes four businesses that are part of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). These entities include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (one of the nation's leading residential mortgage lenders and servicers); Wells Fargo Financial (a leading provider of credit products to both consumers and commercial businesses); the Consumer Credit Group (a leading provider of home equity and personal credit accounts) and Card Services (one of the nation's leading providers of debit cards).