Mortgages to the affluent, typically worth more than $417,000, have become more commonplace among big banks following the mortgage crisis, reports Wall Street Journal staffer Rachel Louise Ensign.
At six of the largest U.S. banks in 2015, high-dollar home loans rose to 24% of mortgage approvals, up from 21% the year prior, according to an analysis of federal home-loan data. In 2012, jumbo loans accounted for 12% of all mortgage approvals at the six banks.
The strategy has contributed to a decline in lending to black and Hispanic borrowers, because people in those groups rarely receive jumbos.
Jumbos are attractive because they typically feature borrowers with high credit scores, big down payments and low default rates. And they aren’t linked to government programs that help back home loans—programs that cost banks tens of billions of dollars in fines after the financial crisis.
The 2015 data was available for six of the 10 largest U.S. retail banks:J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and SunTrust Banks Inc.