JPMorgan names new mortgage banking chief

Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:35pm EST
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By David Henry

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote) promoted Kevin Watters to be chief of its home loan business, relieving Co-Chief Operating Officer Frank Bisignano of the temporary assignment to clean up the lender's mortgage issues.

Watters, 44, had been responsible since 2010 for originating mortgages and now will also oversee mortgage servicing and problem loans and hold the title CEO of Mortgage Banking.

"This role is a natural expansion of his successful leadership of mortgage originations," Bisignano said in a statement from the company on Tuesday.

In February 2011, Bisignano was assigned by company CEO Jamie Dimon to run the mortgage business and fix problems stemming from bad loans made before housing prices collapsed.

JPMorgan has made more home loans this year than any other U.S. lender except Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: Quote).

This year JPMorgan and other banks have been enjoying a surge of revenue from refinancing mortgage loans at lower interest rates engineered by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"We will continue to see the refinancing business stay strong for the next couple of quarters as long as interest rates stay low," Watters said in an interview.

Watters said he expects that refinancing will taper off by the end of next year as demand builds for loans to purchase homes.   Continued...

JPMorgan Chase & Co's international headquarters are seen on Park Avenue in New York July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton