Originally created 05/11/02

New offices open in Aiken, Augusta



The mortgage operation of a Commerce, Ga.-based community bank has set up shop in Augusta and Aiken.

On Friday, nBank Mortgage announced the opening of offices at 2606 Commons Blvd. in Augusta and at 231 Barnwell Ave. in Aiken. Both branches are affiliated with First Commerce Bank and its holding company, nBank Corp.

The 16-person staff includes several executives from North American Mortgage Co., whose local offices were closed after the company's acquisition by Washington Mutual Inc. in January.

"We've got many people with 15 years experience in Augusta," said Peter Franklin, the branch manager for the Augusta and Aiken offices. "Some have as many as 35 years."

NBank Mortgage decided to expand to Augusta, in part, because its president, Robert S. Odum, was familiar with the market, having also worked for North American Mortgage.

"We believe the growth in the Augusta metropolitan area offers us an excellent opportunity to provide our brand of personalized mortgage banking," Mr. Odum said in a prepared statement.

The other branch office of nBank Mortgage is in Lawrenceville, Ga.

First Commerce Bank, chartered in 1904, operates full-service banking centers in the northeast Georgia cities of Dacula, Hoschton, Jefferson, Commerce and Lexington.

The company was one of the first banks in the country to offer online banking, launching its service in 1996.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or dcline@augustachronicle.com.