Continuing to expand its mortgage lending into neighboring states, Washington Trust Co. in Westerly, R.I., announced Tuesday that it has opened a loan production office in Glastonbury, Conn.

The new office in the Hartford suburb is the second the $3 billion-asset bank has opened outside of Rhode Island this year and the third since 2009. The other offices are in Sharon and Burlington, Mass.

In an interview with American Banker earlier this month, Stephen M. Bessette, the bank's executive vice president of retail lending, said Washington Trust has been expanding its mortgage lending to fill a void left by nonbank lenders that have closed their doors and capture business from large banks that have scaled back mortgage originations.

The new Connecticut office has eight employees and is headed by Steven Veronesi, a veteran mortgage lender who most recently worked at Bank of America. Washington Trust is also eyeing further expansion in Connecticut and has hired James Gueltzow to lead that effort. Gueltzow was most recently the site director in Accredited Home Lenders' San Diego office.

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