After a busy start to the year, HarborOne Bank will streamline its mortgage business by putting all of its operations under one roof.
The bank announced yesterday that it would roll the mortgage business of Merrimack Mortgage, one of its subsidiaries, into the residential lending operations currently at HarborOne Bank, creating the establishment of HarborOne Mortgage.
The decision makes good on a promise that HarborOne Bank President Joseph Casey told Banker & Tradesman about in February after the company purchased Cumberland County Mortgage. At the time, Casey said putting everything under one brand would create efficiencies.
“This is a natural evolution for the robust mortgage business we have been building together since HarborOne acquired Merrimack Mortgage Company three years ago,” HarborOne Mortgage President Pete Makowiecki said in a statement. “By combining our mortgage operations into a single cohesive unit, we can more efficiently manage the business at scale while also capitalizing on cross sell opportunities for banking products including retail deposits, small business banking and home equity.”
Senior leadership of the newly combined HarborOne Mortgage subsidiary will remain unchanged from the leadership team of Merrimack, which is based in Manchester, New Hampshire. Merrimack has allowed HarborOne Bank to significantly increase the size of its fee-based mortgage banking business and secure a stronger foothold in key lending markets in the New England region.
That said, the company’s mortgage business struggled in 2017.
The bank’s residential book in 2017 lost about $4 million in value year-over-year, bringing total volume at the end of the year to nearly $767 million. Compared to the same quarter in 2016, mortgage originations by Merrimack Mortgage Co. decreased 28.7 percent in 2017, primarily as a result of higher residential mortgage interest rates and reduced refinance volume in 2017.
The bank has worked to get the business back on track this year. The acquisition of Portland, Maine-based Cumberland County Mortgage in February gave the bank a new foothold in New England.
“This will allow us to create more value through improved pricing and offer access to renovation lending and better jumbo loan options, as well as other opportunities,” said Makowiecki at the time of the acquisition.
Most recently, HarborOne acquired the parent of Warwick, Rhode Island-based Coastway Bank in an all-cash transaction valued at $125.6 million.
The deal gives HarborOne more than $741 million in assets as of the end of 2017, nine branches in the Greater Providence area, three mortgage lending offices and made HarborOne the biggest mortgage lender in Rhode Island.