Ally Financial Corp. this week announced what it calls "modest" layoffs in its correspondent lending division, but declined to specify how many workers were cut.

A spokeswoman for the government-owned lender confirmed that layoffs occurred, and told ASR sister publication National Mortgage News that it will keep alive only correspondent relationships that are "strategically beneficial" to Ally.

She said the decision to cut correspondent customers is "based on a number of factors" including which relationships pose the least amount of risk to Ally. The credit profile of mortgage selling companies will be considered, she said.

When Ally released 3Q11 earnings Wednesday it revealed that it would scale back its presence in the correspondent lending channel, but provided no details.

Ally said it remains committed to retail and wholesale lending.

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