1st Metropolitan experiences growthMortgagePress.comWholesale lenders, 1st Metropolitan Mortgage Over the past two years, 1st Metropolitan Mortgage has achieved record company growth, including significantly increasing loan volume, opening 45 new retail branches, transitioning 48 retail branches acquired from Olympia Funding, designing a proprietary branch networking system (Empire Data Access Center), updating the company's intranet (MetroNet) and launching a new consumer Web site. "Our loan volume increased from $2.8 billion in 2004 to $4 billion in 2005, which is a 43 percent jump in just one year," said Daniel Jacobs, CEO of 1st Metropolitan. "Existing branch originations alone were up 19 percent in 2005, compared to 2004. We remain optimistic about the market, and we expect our loan volumes to remain stable in 2006. We attribute this consistency to our strong branch development efforts, which have continued to fuel our growth despite industry-wide predictions of lower overall production in 2006." 1st Metropolitan Mortgage, a subsidiary of Empire Equity Group, is a national mortgage brokerage based in Charlotte, N.C. For more information, call (800) 772-2880 or visit www.1stmet.com.