People walk by a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage branch.
People walk by a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage branch. - 
Listen To The Story

2,100 Bank of America employees are losing their jobs. This follows 2,300 layoffs at Wells Fargo announced in August. A sagging mortgage refinancing market is getting the blame.

With mortgage rates on the rise, refinancing is no longer a good deal for millions of Americans. That means banks are losing business in an area that has been extremely important lately.

“Refinancings have been critical to the banking industry,” says Columbia Business School real estate professor Chris Mayer. “Because purchase mortgages have maintained at such a low level, most of the activity has been refinancing.”

The latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association show the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan at 4.73 percent. That’s more than a full percentage point jump from just a few months ago.

Numbers like those mean a large chunk of the population won’t refinance their mortgages. Banks are losing a lot of business and warning Wall Street of a rough ride ahead in the mortgage business. And unfortunately, many bank employees are losing their jobs.

Click the audio player above to hear Marketplace's Mark Garrison talk about this story with Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Mark Garrison at @GarrisonMark