Moving to bolster its share of a flourishing business, Banc One Mortgage Corp. announced Tuesday that it is forming a "wholesale" lending division.

The division will seek to step up the company's purchases of new loans from both mortgage banks and mortgage brokers.

In the first six months of this year, such purchases accounted for 31 % of Banc One Mortgage's total loan production of $3.5 billion.

With the new division, that share could rise as high as 50%, said Kent Day, a senior vice president at the Indianapolis-based company.

A number of big mortgage companies have been increasing their wholesale lending as a way to expand their loan servicing businesses.

Bigger Market Share Sought

"This new organizational structure will permit us to expand our market share in this important segment of the mortgage business," said J. Albert Smith, president of Banc One Mortgage.

The department will be headed by Veronica Mensch, who is currently Banc One Mortgage's regional manager of residential production in Illinois.

The company's servicing portfolio stands at $17 billion and continues to grow, Mr. Day said.

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