Reflecting turmoil in the mortgage market, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) will only refinance jumbo mortgages with clients who hold at least $250K in liquid assets at the bank, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In other words, a customer how already has a jumbo loan with Wells Fargo can’t refinance to take advantage of lower rates unless they keep their funds at the bank.
Its policies for loans that are used to buy properties haven’t changed.
Jumbo loans are considered too large to be sold to government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie or Freddie; this year, that means more then $510,400 in most markets, but that can run to larger than $756,600 in pricier ones.
Wells Fargo is the largest lender for jumbo loans, extending some $70B of them last year.
Conventional loans guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie are still widely available, but loans without government backing have become harder to get as market volatility makes investors warier about buying such big loans.
Unlike some banks that tend to keep jumbo loans on their balance sheets rather than sell them, Wells Fargo is limited by how much in can keep on its balance sheet. Since 2018, the Fed imposed an cap on Wells Fargo’s total assets in the wake of the fake-accounts scandal that was disclosed in 2016.
Earlier this week, the company said it would stop purchasing all jumbo loans made by third-party mortgage bankers.