Wall Street firms are loosening terms of their lending to mortgage-bond investors as markets heal, an RBS Securities Inc. executive said.
Repurchase agreement, or repo, lending against the debt has expanded so much since freezing in late 2008 that some banks now offer as much as 10-to-1 leverage and terms as long as one year on certain securities backed by prime jumbo home loans, said Scott Eichel, the Royal Bank of Scotland unit's global co-head of asset- and mortgage-backed securities.
"It's getting very competitive," Eichel said last week. "We're at the point where I don't think we would feel comfortable if things go too much further."
Analysts say the increasing availability of leverage is one reason the record rally in nonagency home loan securities that began in March may continue.