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CompLab
Internal Referral Fees for Mortgages Loans
BalancedComp, a compensation consulting firm for financial institutions, completed a survey in December 2016 on internal referral fees for mortgages.
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“Our clients wanted to know what a competitive strategy was and there wasn’t any concrete information available in the market," said Christie Summervill, CEO of BalancedComp.

The 55 community banks and credit unions that responded to the short four-question survey had assets from $100M - $4B.

  • 60% reported they do not pay an internal referral fee to employees who refer someone for a mortgage loan.

  • Of the 34.55% who do, the median payout was $50. However, the average payout of $100 demonstrated the wide variation in response.

“We had responses from $500 per closed loan to $5 for a referral," Summervill reflected. The mode was also near $100.

There is no compelling response to indicate that, to be competitive, one must pay an internal fee for mortgage referrals. It would have to be considered in the total framework of the internal compensation philosophy of each organization and the relative impact of mortgage loans for that organization.

In 2016, BalancedComp found that the median total cash compensation for mortgage loan originators exceeds $70,000.

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