Housing Recovery Update: Banks Hiring Employees to Increase Lending

Lending giant JPMorgan Chase hiring 1,000-plus mortgage officers
Lending giant JPMorgan Chase hiring 1,000-plus mortgage officers

In a move that's of interest to job hunters, homeowners and hopeful Americans alike, a handful of the nation's largest banks are ramping up their staff to increase lending operations, reports CNNMoney.com.

Though the economic indicators -- new-home sales plummeting to a record low, wobbling home prices and high unemployment-- don't necessarily signal that the current climate is going to change any time soon, some banks believe a turnaround is the lending sector is looming.

And to prove it, a few lenders are bringing on hundreds of new mortgage officers. JP Morgan Chase, the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, is in the process of hiring 1,200 mortgage officers.

And others are showing it on the books, too.

Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Bank, which operates out of a dozen states, saw its lending increase 167 percent in 2009 over the previous year. In 2010, the bank is adding more than a 100 loan originators, with plans to up this number of new employees in their lending office to 400 by 2013.

But one economist is chiming in that this increase in staff may becoming a little too early.