RALEIGH, N.C. - Technology is the most competitive arena in the mortgage industry, said Marc Smith, president and chief executive of Crestar Mortgage, Richmond, Va. But he quickly added that it remains to be seen whether a computer-driven approach to mortgage banking can live up to its promise.

Mr. Smith addressed the opening session of the Eastern Secondary Mortgage Market Conference here. He will become vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America next month, but he was already pinch-hitting for Joe Pickett, who will be departing as MBA president.

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