First Interstate Bank of California has recruited Paul Mullings, a thrift executive, to become president of its Pasadena-based mortgage unit.

Mr. Mullings, who was executive vice president for retail lending at Glendale Federal Bank, said he has big plans to stimulate home lending at First Interstate Mortgage Co. The California bank has not been a major home lender in recent years.

"The potential for increasing the organizations volume here is just tremendous," Mr. Mullings said in an interview.

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His goal is to increase the bank's annual mortgage loan production from about $500 million now to $2 billion or $3 billion within a few years, he said. That could make First Interstate one of California's 10 biggest mortgage lenders.

Mr. Mullings' plan calls for active marketing out of the bank's 321 California branches and increased contacts with realty brokers for customers referrals.

First Interstate, he said, has "nothing that's very well defined" today for getting business from brokers.

Mr. Mullings, a native of Jamaica, received an undergraduate degree in business administration from London's Institute of Accounting.

Glendale Federal, the main unit of ailing GlenFed Inc., has promoted James Dearing, executive vice president of deposit products, to Mr. Mullings' former post as head of retail lending.

At First Interstate, Mr. Mullings has replaced Walter Morris, who resigned in June to join nearby Fidelity Federal Bank.

In addition to handling California originations, the First Interstate unit services mortgages for all regions of First Interstate Bancorp, which cover 13 western states.

Mr. Mullings said he expects that servicing portfolio to grow to about $20 billion in three years from the current $6 billion.

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