Magazine article American Banker

Despite Setbacks, Mellon Upbeat on Northwest Push

Magazine article American Banker

Despite Setbacks, Mellon Upbeat on Northwest Push

Article excerpt

Mellon Mortgage Co. is finding the Pacific Northwest, its new stomping ground, quite comfortable despite the weak mortgage market.

Richard L. Solheim, Mellon's president, said the Houston-based lender is comfortably integrating the production and servicing operations of U.S. Bancorp Mortgage Co., which it purchased last August.

He said that acquisition and others made by Mellon in the past year bode well for the lender's success -- despite a wilted market.

"We got what we wanted," Mr. Solheim said.

What the Mellon Bank Corp. subsidiary wanted was a larger retail production network. With today's refinancing volume nothing more than a whisper, Mellon expects that purchase originations will provide strong production flow.

"We think we are positioned very well with the production we have right now and with the people we have right now," he said.

"We are where we need to be." The company continues to integrate its recent purchases, he said.

The U.S. Bancorp purchase added 50 mortgage production offices and $3.6 billion of servicing to Mellon's coffers.

In addition to U.S. Bancorp, Mellon Mortgage made two other purchases in 1994. It acquired Northern Mortgage Co. late last summer.

The Norwell, Mass., lender had four branches with in the state and a $96 million servicing portfolio.

And it bought four residential mortgage offices in Texas from Roosevelt Bank of Chesterfield, Mo., in July.

Mr. Solheim hinted that more acquisitions may be made in coming months.

Mellon has suffered from the same fallout of loan volume as other lenders.

When Mellon bought U.S. Bancorp in August, about 75 employees were laid off.

Mr. Solheim said an additional 200 or so Mellon workers nationwide have lost their jobs in the last 2 1/2 months.

Mellon Mortgage now employs 1,460.

"We have sized ourselves to what we think that volume is going to be," he explained. …

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