Bank of America Home Loans – the nation's third largest wholesale lender – said it will cease originating mortgages through loan brokers immediately, calling it a "strategic decision," allowing the company to focus on retail lending.

Any broker-sourced loans already in the pipeline will be honored, a company spokesman told ASR's sister publication, National Mortgage News. Otherwise, B of A will not honor commitments.

According to figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report, B of A table funded $3.9 billion in the second quarter, ranking third nationwide behind Wells Fargo and Provident Funding, the market leaders.

In a statement the bank said it will exit the channel "to focus more operational resources toward fulfillment capacity for its leading direct-to-consumer retail channel, helping existing and new customers obtain mortgage financing."

Loan brokers were caught off guard by the announcement, though rumors about B of A exiting the channel have surfaced over the past few months.

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