Bank of America has posted a 40 percent increase in its second-quarter first-lien mortgage production for 2013, compared to second-quarter production in 2012. "We are doing more business with our customers and clients, and gaining momentum across every customer group we serve," said Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan in a release. "We must keep improving, but with the consumer recovering and businesses strong, we have lots of opportunity ahead.”
While not particularly surprising, the strong numbers posted by numerous institutions reflect a generally positive second quarter all around. Last week, Chase and Wells Fargo posted tremendous earnings, while Citigroup announced their positive quarter earlier this week. Even amid controversy surrounding Bank of America’s job-cutting and outsourcing, the CEO’s cost-cutting campaign seems to be paying off.
"At the beginning of the year, we said we would focus on three things—revenue stability, strengthening the balance sheet and managing costs," said Bank of America Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson. "This quarter, we delivered on all three. Revenue increased three percent, we continued to build capital ratios, despite the negative impact of higher interest rates on our bond portfolio, and we reduced expenses related to servicing delinquent mortgage loans at a faster rate than we originally expected."
The report highlights the fact that Bank of America’s “specialized sales force” of financial advisors increased to around 6,800 specialists. While certainly a contributing factor to an increase in first-lien mortgages, this number reflects a 21 percent increase compared to 2012’s staff numbers.
Forbes’ Abram Brown is quick to point out that Bank of America’s push for dominance in the lending market couldn’t come at a possibly worse time. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have both implied potential risks to their mortgage offerings in the coming year. Oddly enough, even though Bank of America’s consumer real-estate division posted higher losses for the second-quarter of 2013 than in the second quarter of 2012 ($937 million compared to $744 million), the company is still making a strong push into what some are estimating to be a troubled, drying market.