Magazine article American Banker

Deal Would Make PNC Major Player in Field It Nearly Left

Magazine article American Banker

Deal Would Make PNC Major Player in Field It Nearly Left

Article excerpt

Byline: Ted Cornwell, National Mortgage News

By purchasing National City Corp., PNC Financial Services Group Inc. would return to the mortgage business in a significant way after years of little participation in the field.

However, PNC emphasized the deposits it would gain from the deal. (See story on page 1.) It did not indicate much enthusiasm for the mortgage book.

The Pittsburgh company largely exited home lending in 2001, when it sold its mortgage subsidiary to Washington Mutual Inc. Four years later PNC and Wells Fargo & Co.'s mortgage unit formed a joint venture to offer home loans to PNC customers. The venture, PNC Mortgage LLC, is still up and running.

Nat City was the nation's 17th-largest mortgage originator in the second quarter, producing $5.3 billion of home loans, according to National Mortgage News' Quarterly Data Report. At midyear Nat City was the 10th-largest servicer, with $190 billion.

Representatives of Nat City and PNC said Friday that it was too early to discuss what mortgage operations or locations might be subject to consolidation or cost-cutting. James Rohr, PNC's chief executive, said on a conference call to discuss the $5 billion deal that his company intends to accelerate the disposition of Nat City's $20 billion "liquidating" portfolio of residential construction, mortgage, and home equity loans. He also said it would exit "low-return asset classes" and instill a "moderate risk culture."

PNC's chief financial officer, Richard Johnson, said it intends to remain in the construction and residential lending businesses in Nat City's base market. …

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