FT Mortgage Cos. is entering the correspondent lending business.

The unit of First Tennessee National Corp. will buy loans from other mortgage bankers though its new First Horizon Correspondent Services division.

The move will diversify the company's loan sources, said Gregory C. Bullen, executive vice president in charge of the new channel. Mr. Bullen, 51, joined FT Mortgage in January from PNC Mortgage, where he also ran correspondent lending.

The division began making commitments to buy loans last month and expects to buy more than $1 billion this year. The business plan calls for $8 billion of purchases within five years.

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