Two banks based in South Carolina are among 36 institutions that joined the Mortgage Bankers Association earlier this month.

The Washington, D.C., based trade group brought on First Citizens Bank, which has offices across South Carolina; and First Column Financial Inc. in Fort Mill. They are among the latest group of lenders to become new regular members of the organization, which now counts more than 2,300 companies.

The most recent group of institutions to join were added in February and March, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Along with the two South Carolina additions, the number of new-member companies by state comprise California (13), New York (4), Illinois (2), Michigan (2), Missouri (2), and Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.

The Mortgage Bankers Association describes itself as a national association representing the real estate finance industry, which employs more than 280,000 people countrywide.

Go to the MBA's Web site at www.mba.org.