Citizens Bank Stops Mortgage Lending

citizens_bank Citizens Bank has exited the mortgage business.

CEO, Jason Farris, says the company is converting to a non-deposit taking bank and has sold most of its residential mortgages to TD Bank. (That deal closed today for an undisclosed amount.)

In a message to members, Farris said that Citizens, “in a national, online market, (was) unable to achieve the necessary size and scale to succeed.”

The bank says it’s now moving to “a more streamlined business model that focuses on its strengths",” which include Visa cards, prepaid cards, and its foreign exchange services.

Tamara Vrooman, CEO of parent company, Vancity, said: “Maintaining great service for members who currently have mortgages or loans remains a top priority, and I know that TD Canada Trust shares our commitment to making the account transition a comfortable experience.”

Sources close to the company say they’re not surprised by the news.  One of the first hints of big changes came back in November, when Citizens decided to close its broker division.

Citizens Bank calls itself one of the first online banks in Canada.  It has 30,000 customers and was founded 12 years ago.  Citizens is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union.

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