SunTrust Banks (STI) expects its heightened volume of mortgage refinancings to continue next year, even while other banks and industry analysts are projecting a slowdown.
"We're confident [Home Affordable Refinance Program] refinance activity will continue well into 2013," Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Rogers said Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference in New York.
"We have a more Harp-eligible market," Rogers said. "We have a little longer runway on Harp."
Atlanta-based SunTrust now generates "$1.5 billion in Harp activity per quarter," Rogers said.
In October, SunTrust had said that it expected a boost from lending tied to residential mortgages, partly because of rising consumer confidence.
The $173 billion-asset company also expects to see a boost from new mortgages, if the housing rebound continues, Rogers said. SunTrust has not abandoned its business of generating new mortgages, even in the downturn, he said. If banks have neglected that side of the business, it can cause problems.
"When [the market] turns, and it will turn, you don't have the opportunity to go back to Realtors to reintroduce yourself when you haven't been talking to them for 24 months," Rogers said of other banks that have not focused on originating mortgages.