First National in talks with lenders

First National in talks with lenders

First National in talks with lenders First National may be tight-lipped when it comes to sharing specific details, but it did confirm it is in talks with other lenders interested in outsourcing their underwriting.

“I can’t speak to any conversations I’m having with lenders,” Stephen Smith, co-founder and president of First National, told “They’re all confidential and they may not go anywhere.”

Smith would not confirm what type of lenders he is in talks with – whether they are broker channel lenders or big bank lenders.

Details remain sparse, but the talks likely centre on a similar deal struck between First National and TD Bank last year.

The monoline lender announced last summer that it had entered into a deal with TD to provide underwriting and fulfillment processing for mortgages originated by the big bank through the mortgage broker channel.

That deal has benefitted the big bank greatly, according to Smith.

“TD’s volumes went up 34.3% from Q2 to Q3 and the market was virtually flat,” Smith said. “The market went up 0.7%.”

The fact that other lenders are interested in First National’s underwriting services likely won’t surprise brokers.

First National received the highest scores of any lender for turnaround time and technology in CMP’s latest Brokers on Lenders survey.

And Smith credits the company’s Merlin system as the reason why lenders are interested in outsourcing their underwriting to First National.

“It’s entirely paperless, which means underwriters can focus on underwriting as opposed to moving paper around,” he said. “That’s important in terms of turnaround; we can get files processed quicker that way.”