WASHINGTON — FM Watch on Thursday called a new Fannie Mae venture, creating an online network of service providers for mortgage lenders, a blatant example of “mission creep” and said that it would ask federal regulators to review the effort.

MORNETPlus Connector, a partnership between Fannie and two technology companies, gives mortgage lenders a network of providers, including for appraisals; title insurance; and flood, closing, and escrow services.

The government-sponsored enterprises are again “encroaching into primary market functions,” said Mike House, FM Watch’s executive director, in a press release.

FM Watch will call on the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight “to review this latest example of GSE mission creep,” he added.

A spokesman for Fannie Mae said it announced the service as MortgageLinks in December 1997 and that on Wednesday it introduced additional providers and Web access.

“It provides an easy link for all lenders that want to use it, from the smallest community thrift to the largest national bank,” the spokesman said. That FM Watch “stumbles on this nearly four years later underscores the staleness of all their arguments. It’s ironic that they are criticizing innovations that lenders want and value,” he added.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.