Quicken Loans overtakes Wells Fargo as country’s largest lender

by Ryan Smith26 Feb 2018

Quicken Loans has overtaken Wells Fargo as the country’s largest mortgage lender.

The Detroit-based nonbank lender racked up $25 billion in loan volume in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Forbes. Wells Fargo, meanwhile, posted $23 billion in loan volume in the same time frame. Bank of America took third place with $13 billion.

“The only thing harder than getting here is going to be staying here,” Quicken Loans co-founder and chairman Dan Gilbert told Forbes.

Wells Fargo spent most of 2017 – and most of this year so far – facing fallout from numerous scandals, including opening millions of unauthorized customer accounts and improperly charging mortgage customers rate-lock fees. The Federal Reserve recently announced that four members of the bank’s board of directors would step down. The Fed also prohibited the bank from expanding its balance sheet until it shows sufficient improvement in its governance and controls.

The bank also recently attracted the ire of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who grilled Wells CEO Tim Sloan over the bank’s botched handling of rate-lock fee refunds.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson told Forbes that the bank anticipated that it would be able to grow its mortgage business as it implemented controls designed to improve its governance.

“We anticipate that we will be able to continue to grow traditional loans, including jumbo mortgages, and traditional deposits,” said Tom Goyda, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of consumer lending communications.

Gilbert, meanwhile, said that customer experience was the key to remaining at the head of the pack.

“Our product is sort of a commodity,” he told Forbes. “There is not that much different between mortgages, but there is a difference in how that mortgage is delivered and that experience to the customer.”

Related stories:
Fed restricts Wells Fargo’s growth
Warren grills Wells Fargo on botched mortgage-fee refunds