MetLife Bank is poised to become the No. 1 reverse mortgage lender upon the exits of Wells Fargo and Bank of America from the business, Bloomberg News reports.
As the biggest U.S. life insurer, MetLife is in a position to use its reverse mortgage division to hedge against declines in the main insurance business, according to the Bloomberg report titled “MetLife Pushes Reverse Mortgages as Wells Fargo, Bank of America Retreat.”
“The reverse mortgage was the most prominently featured product last week on the web site of MetLife Bank,” the article states.
Before Wells Fargo’s departure, “MetLife had been zooming toward No. 1,” Marty Bell, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association’s director of marketing and communications, told Bloomberg. “They’ve been in it a lot shorter time than everybody else, and they’ve been really building it.”
Recapping MetLife’s 2008 entry into the reverse mortgage business and strong growth since, Bloomberg notes MetLife’s rise from the fifth largest reverse mortgage lender in 2009 to second-largest in May.
Bloomberg also notes the “natural” fit for MetLife to offer reverse mortgage products as it is closely tied to the life insurance side of the business and can take an overall financial planning approach to the retirement products.
“MetLife Bank is nice,” Bloomberg quoted Robert Henrikson, chairman of the insurer, from a May 24 investor conference. “It’s one area where low, low interest rates present profit opportunities.”
Read the Bloomberg news article.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker