Fifth Third Bank unveils new warehouse lending business

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank NA, part of Fifth Third Bancorp, a regional lender with some $207 billion in assets, has launched a new warehouse-financing arm that will serve independent mortgage bankers.

The lender’s new warehouse financing arm will be led by Donnie Martin, who has more than 25 years of mortgage industry experience. Martin, Firth Third’s group head of mortgage warehouse finance, along with a team of warehouse lending professionals, will be based in Dallas.

“We’re bringing the resources of Fifth Third’s commercial bank to the mortgage industry to help our clients achieve their long-term strategic objectives,” Martin said.

Fifth Third (NASDAQ: FITB), one of the largest regional banks in the country, stressed in announcing the new warehouse financing unit that it can offer the liquidity, credit and banking solutions demanded by independent mortgage bankers. Warehouse lending offers short-term financing to mortgage bankers that provides interim liquidity until loans are sold or securitized in the secondary market.

“Fifth Third’s Mortgage Finance Connect technology platform will provide clients efficient, same-day funding that integrates with existing processes,” the bank’s announcement of the new warehouse-lending arm states. “The quick fulfillment, together with a broad product offering, provides the tools necessary for mortgage bankers to succeed in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry.”

The new mortgage warehouse business joins Fifth Third’s correspondent lending group, capital markets whole-loan trading desk and Treasury management solutions team in serving mortgage bankers across the country.

“At Fifth Third, we look to be the banking partner of choice for independent mortgage bankers,” said Kevin Lavender, head of commercial banking at Fifth Third Bank. “Our resources and focus on relationships position us to provide solutions to our clients’ most pressing business problems.”

Warehouse lenders ended the second quarter with $132 billion of commitments on their books, a 3.6% decline from the first quarter, and a 9% decline from a year ago, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

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