- United Wholesale Mortgage and Quicken Loans are at odds over an ultimatum issued by UWM earlier this month.
- CEO Mat Ishbia defended the move, in which UWM said it would no longer work with any mortgage brokers who also conducted business with Quicken and another competitor.
- "My business is not designed to make my competitors like me," he said.
The CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage on Wednesday defended a recent controversial move in a crosstown battle with rival Quicken Loans.
UWM earlier this month said it would no longer work with any mortgage brokers who also conducted business with Quicken and another competitor, Fairway Independent Mortgage in Wisconsin.
"I know how different people want to portray it, but the decision was not about doing things exclusively," CEO Mat Ishbia said in an appearance on CNBC's "Mad Money."
Ishbia told the show's host Jim Cramer that the Pontiac, Michigan-based company gained an upper hand in the ultimatum: Out of 12,000 brokers, not even 500, chose to continue partnering with Quicken, he said.
Quicken, the Detroit-based lending giant owned by Rocket Companies, is the nation's top mortgage lender, followed by UWM.
Ishbia claims Quicken Loans is stunting growth in the mortgage sector, though he said he does not accuse the company of illegal practices.
"The reality is, brokers are all in," Ishbia said. "They understand that Mat and UWM is here to protect the broker channel and consumers because consumers get lower rates when they go through a broker. That's not an opinion, that's a fact."
Meanwhile, Rocket tells the Wall Street Journal that its lending platform has grown market share since UWM announced the move. Fairway, for its part, told National Mortgage News that UWM's agreement with brokers limits their opportunity to find lower interest rates.