MetLife to sell $70-bn mortgage servicing portfolio to JPMorgan Chase

MetLife Inc, the largest life insurer in the US, today agreed to sell MetLife Bank's $70-billion mortgage servicing portfolio to JPMorgan Chase & Co, for an undisclosed sum.

The $70-billion servicing portfolio will increase JPMorgan Chase's $1.1 trillion servicing business by more than 5 per cent.

Explaining the rationale for the sale, the New York-based company said that since its strategic focus is to be a global insurance and employee benefits leader, it decided in 2011 that a bank holding company structure was no longer appropriate.

Since then, the insurer has agreed to sell MetLife Bank's deposit business to GE Capital, sold the bank's warehouse finance business to EverBank, sold its reverse mortgage servicing rights to Nationstar, and ceased writing residential mortgages.

MetLife's entire retail banking business, including mortgages, represented less than 2 per cent of its 2011 revenues.

In a regulatory filing on October 24, MetLife announced it was exploring a sale of its mortgage servicing portfolio and began reporting MetLife Bank's forward mortgage servicing assets and operations as divested businesses.

''The acquisition of this high-quality portfolio reflects our strategy to strengthen and grow our Servicing business,'' said Eric Schuppenhauer, head of mortgage servicing at Chase.

''We will be able to provide our full range of products and services to an additional 350,000 individuals and families,'' he added.