Bloomberg: MetLife Poised to be No. 1 for Reverse Mortgages

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.

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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

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  • Not hard to go from number five to number one when KBC, FF, B of A, and WF all leave.  Now let’s see if they can get to the WF numbers by October.

  • Boy you are a Cynic. We don’t have to get to WF’s numbers by October. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing. Remember, MetLife is in the business of pricing risk. You can’t say that about most banks.

    • Dirk,

      When the number three in the country sees the front two evaporate in a matter of months and not to hear that it will pick up enough of the market share in four months to match the sales volume of the former number one is not very inspiring.  There was not even a wink that MetLife will get there.

      That response sounded more like an old staid banker than a youthful but prudent risk taker.

  • >>“They’ve been in it a lot shorter time than everybody else, and they’ve been really building it.”

    I don’t know if I’d say that … BNY/Everbank had a well established footprint before MetLife acquired them.

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