United Bank will consolidate its mortgage subsidiaries into one unified mortgage business amid the housing industry struggles with elevated interest rates.
United Bank has been delivering mortgage services through three channels, including two mortgage subsidiaries — Crescent Mortgage Co. and George Mason Mortgage — and an in-bank channel.
“In an effort to better serve our communities and provide a best-in-class mortgage business, we are consolidating our mortgage subsidiaries into one unified mortgage business. This consolidation will allow us to continue to take care of our customers and promote homeownership throughout our footprint,” a United Bank spokesperson said in an e-mailed response.
As part of the consolidation, Georgia-based Crescent Mortgage will be closing its location and ceasing operations in Atlanta on March 29. The decision was confirmed by Ami Shaver, executive vice president and of head of human resources at United Bank, in a letter sent to Georgia’s Office of Workforce Deployment on Jan. 29.
A total of 65 employees will be laid off in March as a result of the Crescent Mortgage closing, according to the letter.
The layoffs at Crescent affected leadership positions, including a chief information officer, chief operations officer, 13 mortgage originators (MLOs), two underwriters and two processors.
Other positions affected by the layoffs were servicing auditors, closing disclosure specialists, auditors and appraisal coordinators.
The National Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) showed that Crescent Mortgage had 29 registered MLOs as of Feb. 1.
Founded in 1993, Crescent Mortgage saw its production drop continuously over the years after peaking at $186.2 million in origination volume across 695 units in 2021, per data from mortgage recruiting platform Modex. Crescent originated $155.7 million across 414 units in 2022 and that volume dropped to $98.3 million across 263 units last year.
United Bank’s spokesperson didn’t confirm whether its other mortgage subsidiary, George Mason Mortgage, will close its operations. George Mason didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Established in 1839, United Bank has close to 250 locations across eight states and Washington, D.C., with total assets of some $30 billion, according to its website.
Income from mortgage banking activities through United Bankshares, the parent company of United Bank, came in at $7.6 million in third-quarter 2023, up from $6.4 million in the previous quarter, according to its 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In the first nine months of 2023, United’s income from mortgage banking activity declined to $21.8 million, down from $38.1 million during the same period in 2022.