Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group Inc. announced earnings of $6.1 million for the fourth quarter of 1995, an increase of 66% from earnings in the quarter a year earlier.

Income for the year, however, fell 21%, to $14.2 million. Resource's loan production for the year was $7.1 billion, up sharply from $2.9 billion.

Lee Shelton, vice chairman and managing director, said he attributed the fourth-quarter performance to the diversification of Resource's distribution channels through the establishment of new retail and wholesale lending divisions.

These divisions accounted for 15% of the company's total loan production and to a favorable interest rate environment.

"The considerable start-up cost incurred during 1995 in connection with implementation of our diversification initiative is now behind us," Mr. Shelton said.

Resource reported it purchased $2.3 billion of loans through its correspondent division in the fourth quarter. It also closed $291 million of loans through its wholesale division, a 19% increase over the level in the third quarter. The lender increased its retail originations by 30% to $116 million in the fourth quarter over originations in the third quarter.

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