Magazine article American Banker

Mortgages Seen Bringing in Other Business for Mercantile

Magazine article American Banker

Mortgages Seen Bringing in Other Business for Mercantile

Article excerpt

Stanley J. Bradshaw is wasting no time mapping out strategies for the mortgage operation he is to command once Mercantile Bancorp. buys Roosevelt Financial Group.

"We'll be a chief relationship builder," Roosevelt's 39-year-old chairman and chief executive said in a recent interview.

The combined mortgage group, which will originate $2 billion annually and have a servicing portfolio of $13 billion, would become a platform for cross-selling other services of the bank, he said.

"We see the mortgage originations system not so much as a product pusher" but a vehicle for bringing in more customers and connecting them with banking products.

Mr. Bradshaw is slated to take control of Mercantile's mortgage group when the St. Louis bank closes its $1.07 billion deal to buy hometown rival Roosevelt in April.

At that point, Mr. Bradshaw would be able to put his cross-selling theories to a wider test. He has employed the approach at 80-branch Roosevelt for the past two years. During that period, he estimated the thrift gained 10,000 new deposit customers as a direct result of the mortgage promotion.

Mr. Bradshaw said Roosevelt relied on a commissioned salesforce that dealt with realtors and builders, and on a retail loan team operating from branches, a system he plans to move to Mercantile.

He also intends to use customer come-ons. For example, one offer would allow borrowers to shave about one-eighth of a percentage point from their mortgage rate by agreeing to open a savings or checking account, he said. …

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