Branch Banking and Trust Co. (BBT) is exiting the wholesale lending business, operated through its Liberty Mortgage Corp. subsidiary, a spokesperson confirmed to HousingWire. The company plans to expand its warehouse business to correspondent lenders, according to BB&T spokesperson Merrie Tolbert. "What we are planning to do is to realign the resources from the wholesale lending business so that we can ramp up our commitment to correspondent lending, which is going to increase our ability to grow the mortgage warehouse lending division," she told HousingWire. BB&T in August gained the warehouse lending division of failed Colonial Bank. The company then renewed its commitment to warehouse lending by beefing up the division with a new president. BB&T said it nearly doubled its mortgage originations in 2009. Now the company is a "strong player" in the warehouse business, Tolbert said. "We believe now is a good time to focus on growing that line of business." According to Inside Mortgage Finance (IMF), BB&T grew to the 17th largest mortgage originator with $19bn of volume in 2008, from the 28th largest in 2007 at a $15.75bn annual volume. BB&T ranked as the 12th largest correspondent producer in 2008 with a $6.52bn volume, after not ranking anywhere among the top 20 correspondent originators a year earlier. In neither 2007 nor 2008 did BB&T rank among the top 20 brokered origination producers, according to IMF. The company was IMF's 18th largest wholesale producer in 2008, with a $8.77bn volume, after not ranking among the top 20 in 2007. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investments.