SEATTLE -- Seafirst Bank, a unit of BankAmerica Corp., says it has launched an effort to become the top residential lender in Washington.

"Even though we bank nearly a million households in the state, we have room for improvement in residential lending," said Hal Green, manager of Seafirst's real estate group.

One element of the expansion drive is Seafirt's Home Loan-by-Phone program. Mr. Green says Seafirst is the only bank program in the Northwest to offer mortgages by phone.

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