Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., which has carved out a niche in the mortgage business for the big securities firm, last week received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The Jacksonville, Fla., Merrill Lynch unit, which specializes in mortgages and other loans to the very wealthy, was honored for the way it involves and trains employees and serves customers. Units of Xerox Corp., 3M, and Solectron Corp. also received the award, which is named for the former commerce secretary.

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