In another move to ramp up its services to affluent and high-net-worth clients, Bank of the West has formed a team dedicated to helping its wealthiest customers with their personal real estate lending needs. The team includes private mortgage bankers, product development and underwriting professionals as well as loan processing staff, the San Francisco-based bank announced.

"We know having experts available to talk about the changing mortgage market is especially important for our affluent and high-net-worth clients, who often have complex real estate financing situations," John Bahnken, head of Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group and senior executive vice president, said in an e-mail message.

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