Magazine article American Banker

B of A to Shutter Framework

Magazine article American Banker

B of A to Shutter Framework

Article excerpt

Bank of America Corp. will close its Tarrytown, N.Y., mortgage technology subsidiary this year, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

The Charlotte banking company bought Framework Inc. in January 2003. Though it did not say how much it paid, a source at the time estimated the price at $50 million.

Julie Davis, the spokeswoman, said B of A will shutter Framework to "streamline our focus" in the mortgage business. The fact that Framework "did not anticipate they could have a profitable year next year" made the decision easier, she said.

The acquisition of Framework was at the heart of the effort by Kevin Shannon, then B of A's president of consumer real estate lending, to have big lenders join forces to cut technology costs. However, other large lenders have resisted that vision.

Washington Mutual Inc. is the only large lender other than B of A that is using Framework's flagship Lendware platform for some originations. The Seattle thrift company has shelved an ambitious project to build a single origination platform based on Lendware's source code, but it says it is still moving toward the use of a single platform that could replace Framework's.

National Mortgage News reported the plan to close Framework on its Web site Thursday. Ms. Davis said Framework's 100 or so employees were told of the decision last week.

Observers said the writing had been on the wall for some time. This year Framework introduced an "out-of-the-box" version of its platform to attract small lenders, which often do not want to invest as much time and money on installing customizable systems.

At the time Framework executives acknowledged in an interview that after the acquisition by B of A, the large lenders Framework had courted in the past were reluctant to hire it for competitive reasons.

And in an interview last month, Floyd Robinson, who succeeded Mr. …

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