As increasing numbers leave retail for wholesale, 2023 could very well emerge as the year of the independent broker. Some two years in the making, the trend has been steadily rising as more brokers leave the retail channel. One often-cited count is the 100 loan officers a day leaving retail for wholesale.

Read more: Broadening the broker channel’s perspective

The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) offers statistics showcasing the extent to which such conversions are occurring:

  • In 2021, 6,353 loan officers who left retail joined the independent mortgage broker community.
  • In the first nine months of 2022, more than 7,000 loan officers converted from retail to wholesale lending.
  • As of September 2022, the wholesale channel gained nearly 18,000 loan officers-year-to-date, representing “…a rate of growth in the wholesale channel we’ve never seen before,” UWM spokesperson Nicole Roberts previously told MPA.

It’s one thing to gander at statistics, and another to speak to those making the switch. MPA has interviewed brokers who are part of the exodus from wholesale, yielding a first-person account as to why the migration is happening.

Sam Bomley, senior loan broker at Edge Home Finance Corp., said he has no regrets in taking the plunge. “I was managing a small branch for Fairway [Independent Mortgage Corp.] for a couple of years, and what I started to run into is not being competitive with rates and fees for my clients,” he told MPA in September. “And at first being unaware there are so many more competitive companies and, learning about the broker side and learning that I could really put my clients’ interest above everything else and give them the best deals, drew me to the broker side.”