JPMorgan names new mortgage banking chief

Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:52pm EST

Dec 18 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co promoted Kevin Watters to be chief of its home loan business, relieving Co-Chief Operating Officer Frank Bisignano of a temporary second assignment to clean up the lender's mortgage issues.

Watters, 44, had been responsible since 2010 for originating mortgages and will now 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.

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.

Watters will report to Gordon Smith, who at the end of this month will become sole CEO of Consumer & Community Banking over the retail branches, credit cards and mortgages.

Before Watters was put in charge of mortgage originations, he was head of business banking in the branch network for five years, according to the statement. Watters has been with the company for 13 years.