Kansas City, Missouri-based North American Savings Bank (NASB) will shut down its consumer direct mortgage division and lay off employees, business partners and former employees told HousingWire. The changes will be effective on March 7.
The mortgage lender announced the decision to employees on Friday, citing market conditions. Shortly after, employees, including closers, processors and loan consultants, began posting about the layoffs on social media.
“Unfortunately, my entire department was let go on Friday, 1/6,” a former loan processor at NASB wrote on a social media post. “As we all know, the mortgage industry is tough at the moment, to say the least.”
A former mortgage operations coordinator wrote on social media, “In my nearly three years at NASB, I experienced the industry at a record high and a record low, but last week I experienced the unfortunate risk of working in such a volatile industry.”
A spokesperson for NASB did not immediately return HousingWire’s request for comment.
A former employee with knowledge of the company’s operation told HousingWire that NASB is “keeping the portfolio side and will be switching to in-house only.”
“They have in-house portfolio loans, so when they lock and close loans, they will no longer be sold to the secondary market,” the former employee said. “They will stay and be managed in-house.”
North American Savings Bank, founded in 1927, offers a variety of mortgage products, including conventional, VA, FHA, jumbo and IRA residential real estate loans.
Like its competitors, the company has struggled with the effects set in motion by the Federal Reserve’s tightening monetary policy over the last year. NASB Financial delivered a $4.5 million net income for the third quarter of 2022, down by about half compared to its net income of $9.9 million during the same period in 2021.
“We are reporting pretty average results for the most recent twelve-month period. Our return on assets of 1.28% is about the same as the 75th percentile of Missouri banks, but well below our returns the previous two fiscal years (3.00% and 4.01%),” David Hancock, the board chairman, wrote in a letter to shareholders on December 19 in reference to the third quarter 2022 earnings.
According to Hancock, NASB’s focus remains on various mortgage lending sectors, a “commodity-dominated business influenced by many factors, most of which are out of our control.”
“This business is frequently cyclical, often volatile, and sometimes frustrating. We have made many changes in our mortgage banking division trying to deal with the higher rates and lower volumes, but have found we were a lot more successful mortgage lender when we could offer 30-year fixed mortgages with rates in the low 3% area,” Hancock added.
Mortgage tech platform Modex shows that North American Savings Bank originated $2.3 billion in the last 12 months through about 60 active loan officers in four branches.