PNC Mortgage, Vernon Hills, Ill., has promoted Anthony T. Meola to the No. 2 post of executive vice president.

The 42-year-old executive, who had been a senior vice president, is now responsible for mortgage production and for managing 1,770 employees in retail production and service delivery.

Mr. Meola will oversee all sales offices and regional mortgage centers that deal with consumers, in addition to handling referrals from financial counselors and real estate agents, said Saiyid T. Naqvi, president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Naqvi said that Mr. Meola has brought "a level of intensity and enthusiasm to the whole retail production side that has enabled us to migrate more successfully from a branch setup to a regional processing concept."

The mortgage banking unit of PNC Bank Corp., Pittsburgh, originates and services residential home loans. Last year it funded $6.14 billion of mortgages and serviced close to 467,000 loans with outstanding principal balances of about $40.7 billion.

"One of the challenges for us is really to get this enhanced level of service out there and performing at levels that really are unparalleled in the industry," Mr. Naqvi said. PNC's focus, he said, will be to deliver service at the point of sale, to enable customers to close loans with little hassle. PNC has been using technology to meet customers' needs and schedules, including a 24-hour service so customers can call the company at any time.

PNC has expanded into the western half of the country in the last two years, and Mr. Naqvi said he expects the company to continue to build its operations in California and Arizona. "We are launching a more aggressive builder program in the second quarter," he said.

Mr. Meola joined PNC in 1994 as senior vice president for national production operations. Before joining PNC, he worked for Citicorp Mortgage Inc. as a senior vice president for originations processing, and as manager of strategic planning for Amerada Hess.

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