1st Metropolitan Mortgage, Charlotte, N.C., has announced the acquisition of 48 retail mortgage branches of Olympia Funding, Pleasanton, Calif., for an undisclosed amount.The acquired branches, which will become MetroBranches, will have access to 1st Metropolitan's back-office operations, including branch support and its preferred lender program, 1st Metro said. Olympia Funding, which specialized in servicing first-time homebuyers and borrowers with credit problems, will continue as a wholesale lender in 10 states and as a contract processing firm for other mortgage brokers, 1st Metro said. (According to a survey by Broker magazine, Origination News, and National Mortgage News, Olympia Funding was the second-largest mortgage brokerage firm in the country in 2004, and 1st Metro was the fourth-largest. The survey results will be published in the August issue of Broker.) 1st Metro, a division of Empire Equity Group, can be found on the Web at http://www.1stmetro.com.

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