As a mortgage compliance professional you know your fair lending responsibility as it relates to HMDA, but I want to go beyond and discuss how to use HMDA data for strategic planning.  If you are concerned with corporate growth and development, then you know this is more than a check the box exercise.  Done with attention and thought, the output can identify not only new opportunities, but provide goal development; understanding of strengths and weaknesses; and a feedback loop for future planning.  A systematic approach begins with defining financial loan production objectives related to origination volumes, sources of origination, mortgage product types and market penetration.

But wait…don’t set loan production objectives without first conducting an in-depth evaluation of the competitive market factors using HMDA data.  Pay specific attention to insightful data sets, such as historical market size and forecasted growth, product line breakdown, benchmarks, and organizational and demographics analysis.

Questions to Ask

As an example, let’s start with some questions regarding the competitive landscape.  Answering these questions will enable you to assess market penetration to determine where you are followed by where you want to be.  This list is not meant to be totally inclusive but provide a good starting point.

Competitive Landscape Assessment to Assess External Factors that may have an Impact on the business:

Who are my Competitors by Market Area?

  • Lending Institutions (participants, market share, their size, type and interaction with the secondary market)
  • Evaluate change in market competitors (new vs. shrinking)
  • Classify competitors as direct and indirect
  • What changes in the competitive services in a market have affected or could affect market share (new branch locations, new players, loan pricing, NIV, etc.)?
  • Assess competitors’ lending strengths and weaknesses (rank by origination, denial and fallout rate; community lending gaps; population penetration, etc.)

Describe the Products and Diversification by Market Area

  • What is the concentration of loans by volume, type, purpose, etc.?
  • What products offered by competition do we not offer?
  • Distinguish between investment quality loans and higher risk loans

Strategic planning is a coordinated effort among all functional areas.  Done right, you can assure that the rewards outweigh the risks and uncertainties are minimized.  Once the broad goals for the company are stated in the strategic plan, then the loan scoping opportunities within each market area come into play.

Using LendingPatterns™, it is possible to assess the competitive profile of any geographic area.  Contact us at for additional questions on researching lending in your local area.