First Union Corp., reaching for nationwide leadership in consumer and small-business lending, has agreed to buy Money Store Inc. for about $2.1 billion.

The deal, the latest in a string of acquisitions by First Union, gives the Charlotte, N.C., powerhouse a big foothold in the market for subprime mortgages, a business that many banks have been struggling to tap. The combined company would easily rank as the largest in the field.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.