Citigroup aims to ramp up U.S. mortgage lending

NEW YORK Tue May 20, 2014 8:37pm EDT

A man walks past a Citibank branch in lower Manhattan, New York October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A man walks past a Citibank branch in lower Manhattan, New York October 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) is looking to increase its market share in the U.S. mortgage market by buying home loans from other lenders, a top executive said on Tuesday.

"We want to grow," said Jane Fraser, the chief executive officer of Citi Mortgage, at the Mortgage Bankers Association secondary market conference in New York.

Much of the push for expansion will come from correspondent lending, or Citigroup buying mortgages that meet criteria it has established from other financial institutions. Fraser called the correspondent market "very important" and said that Citigroup was "open for business" with correspondent lenders.

Fraser also said that the bank would look to hold the new loans on its balance sheet and would be "extremely careful" about the quality of the loans it will make.

Citigroup was the seventh-largest U.S. mortgage lender in the first quarter of 2014, according to industry publication Inside Mortgage Finance. Its market share fell by nearly two-thirds to 2.7 percent of all U.S. home loans in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2013.

(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)