MetLife, Credit Suisse Reportedly Exiting Real Estate Finance Operations

MetLife, Credit Suisse Reportedly Exiting Real Estate Finance Operations Two major financial services providers – one for the residential market and one for the commercial market – are reportedly seeking to shut down their real estate finance operations.

On the residential side, MetLife Inc. is reportedly seeking to sell its mortgage business. Although the company has not made a formal announcement, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal report that the company is looking to find a buyer for its MetLife Home Loans Division, which originates both traditional and reverse mortgages.

MetLife entered the home loan sector in 2008 with its acquisition of the origination and servicing business of First Horizon National Corp., and it is currently the nation's 12th largest mortgage originator. A MetLife spokesperson said that the company will continue to originate mortgages while it searches for a buyer.

The mortgage division is the second business that MetLife is seeking to jettison. In July, the company said it was seeking a buyer for its MetLife Bank NA depository business.

Separately, on the commercial side of the industry, Credit Suisse Group is reportedly planning to close its commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) division.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says that the closure of the CMBS division would result in the loss of about 50 jobs. Credit Suisse reopened its CMBS business last year and has made loans estimated as much as $1 billion, but it has yet to securitize that debt.

The division is one of several that Credit Suisse is reportedly considering to shut down, and a final decision is expected within the next 30 days. A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment on the story.

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