Thus far, bank holding company FirstMerit has stayed on the sidelines of the asset-backed market for one reason: market volatility. However, the benchwarming may soon be over.

Audie Mulhern, chief financial officer at the company, said that continued growth in volume following steep growth spurts recorded recently in FirstMerit's home-equity and manufactured-housing lending businesses would probably push the company to launch an ABS program; perhaps with quarterly deals.

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