Richard M. Duncan, formerly head of production for Fleet Mortgage Corp., has joined Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group.

Mr. Duncan left Fleet in March after 10 years with the company. His last position there was executive vice president for production.

The long-time mortgage veteran will be senior vice president of business development at Resource Bancshares.

His focus at the Columbia, S.C., mortgage bank will be leading expansion into new areas of the country as well as developing new business lines. "Resource is positioned well in the East and Mid-west, but we have aspirations in the West," he said in a recent interview.

While Resource is just down the road from his old haunts at Fleet Mortgage, it must feel like a million miles away. Fleet is a huge, bank-affiliated mortgage banker with an old-line, retail franchise, whereas Resource Bancshares is a small independent that operates in just eight states.

However, change is afoot at Resource. Besides the push westward, the company plans to supplement its production by starting a wholesale unit, which will purchase loans from brokers. The company now buys closed mortgages from lenders. "We are just into wholesale on a limited basis for now. We don't want to jump in whole hog," said Mr. Duncan.

The wholesale effort will be concentrated in the East, while expansion in the West will be on the correspondent side.

Despite the expansion plans, volume is down at Resource Bancshares, as it is across the industry.

Move into Bulk Servicing

In an effort to help cover fixed cost, the company is making a move into the bulk servicing market. By purchasing seasoned servicing rights in bulk, Resource hopes to keep expanding its servicing portfolio despite a slow -- and extremely competitive -- new originations environment.

Resource Bancshares is in the prcess of arranging a $50 million line of credit with Bank of New York and a consortium of other lenders.

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