Last month, the broker/wholesale channel performed much better than retail/direct in a down month for the industry overall, according to the latest report from Reverse Marketing Insight. Broker/wholesale outperformed again in February, up 16.2 percent compared to just 0.6 percent growth for retail/direct.
Brokers are not expected to gain back all the ground they’ve lost in the past year given all the regulatory headwinds, but they are not dead yet, despite the many obituaries already written. We also suspect given the relative weakness in top 10 lenders retail business in March that we’ll probably see brokers make it a clean sweep of growth for the quarter when next month’s Wholesale Leaders report is released.
Brokers comprised 40.8 percent of all endorsements in February, down considerably from last year (55.5 percent) but up dramatically from the low of 33.7 percent in December.
Urban Financial Group (owned by Knight Capital) is notable as the only Top 10 lender that has grown their broker/wholesale business in the past 12 months, a tall order given the declines wholesale has seen over that same span.
Click here to view the February 2011 Reverse Market Insight Report.