More than 90% of these issues were underwritten by independent investment banks. The underwriter buys the issue for a a fixed price and resells it through its distribution channels to its customers at a higher price. While commercial bank firms play a big role in issuing asset-backed securities, they have played a relatively small role in underwriting them. They would like to underwrite more but their authority to do so is limted.
Investors have, in effect, bought over $16 billion in consumer loans from commercial banks by buying securities backed by automobile loans, credit card receivables, home equity loans, and other consumer debt.