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Blog: MBA convention kicks off in the nation’s capital

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) annual convention got underway in earnest on Monday. The annual event is typically the high point of the year for the industry, and this year's convention in Washington, D.C. has once again drawn most of the mortgage industry’s movers and shakers.

Unlike in recent years, one notable absence is retired former President David Stevens, who typically would kick off the annual event with a crowd-rousing speech.

MBA leaders on Monday delivered the same message, calling for unity before hundreds of mortgage bankers assembled in the convention-center ballroom.MBA convention

MBA Chairman Chris George, President Bob Broeksmit and outgoing Chairman David Motley outlined longstanding goals of the organization, such as government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform, improving diversity in hiring in the industry, and regulatory reform that encourages safe lending.

One thing not mentioned in the opening speeches was the industry’s recent struggles. Companies have seen loan volumes drop with downturn in refinancing. Some industry players have already laid off hundreds of workers. 

MBA leaders did address the other elephant in the room, however, the looming midterm elections. Broeksmit said housing was not a partisan issue, and the trade group was prepared to work with Congress, regardless of who wins.

It was Broeksmit's first major speech since taking over from Stevens this year. He told the crowd that he got his start in financial services 33 years ago as a temp at the Money Store. His career is mostly marked by experience inside the beltway, but he pledged to get out of Washington as much as possible to hear from the MBA membership.


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