Banking Holding Firm's Subsidiaries Favor State Associations

Article excerpt

First Interstate Bancorp's subsidiary banks are strong supporters of state bankers associations, said Robert E. Harris, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

The Los Angeles-based holding company submitted the winning bid last week to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for the failed First National Bank and Trust Co. of Oklahoma City. The bank reopenedTuesday as First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma City NA.

"They're actively involved in their state associations. I can't imagine the local CEO calling back to Los Angeles for direction," Harris said. "I've talked to some of my colleagues across the country, and they have a positive attitude about the way First Interstate operates.

"Needless to say, that delights me," he said.

Harris leads one of the most active state bankers associations in the country. No doubt, he was concerned about the way interstate banking might affect the cohesiveness of his association.

Harris said he was pleased with the smoothness of the transition between the old bank and the new, and the existence of interstate authority to sell the bank.

"The loss of a bank like First National without that rescue would have been devastating to our economy," he said.

The fact that Oklahoma's new interstate law, drafted and advocated by the bankers association, was not brought into play on the First National failure is "irrelevant" in Harris's mind, he said.

And he said he has no plans to propose modifications to the Oklahoma law to make it more attractive to out-of-state bidders.

"It will all become a moot issue next July anyway," he said. The emergency acquisition provisions will give way to full interstate banking on July 1, 1987.

"Why would the State Legislature go through a debate, next May or June for something that would be totally unneeded in a month or two?" he reasoned.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Bank Commissioner Robert Y. Empie said he called State Rep. Benny F. Vanatta, D-Sapulpa, to complain about the bidding rules in Oklahoma's law. Empie contends that out-of-statebidders shy away because Oklahoma bankers are made privy to their bids and can then match them if they choose. . .

- Natalie A. Bonney, Eric F. Percival and Linda J. Wegener have been promoted to managers in the tax department at Arthur Young and Co.

Frank E. Gagnon and E. Kathy Kraft have been promoted to management positions in the management consulting group. . .

- The Oklahoma Credit Union Roundtable is being held today and tomorrow at the Sheraton Kensington Hotel in Tulsa. The roundtable is the first for state-chartered credit unions and is sponsored by the Oklahoma Credit Union League.

The purpose of the meeting is to give chief executives of the credit unions an opportunity to exchange views and ideas with peers, and discuss issues of concern. . .

- The average savings account balance reached a record $7,407 at the nation's savings and loan associations last year, according to the 1986 Savings Institutions Sourcebook compiled by the United States League of Savings Institutions.

The figure is an increase of $399 from $7,008 reported in 1984.

The sourcebook also said the average interest paid to account holders at savings associations was 9.03 percent in 1985. Savers received a record $73.6 billion in interest payments from savings andloan associations and savings banks last year. . .

- Thomas L. Novotny, Oklahoma City agent for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., was cited Monday during the company's 106th annual meeting of agents in Milwaukee for sales duringthe year ended May 31.

Novotny achieved membership in the Diamond Class for selling more than $6 million in insurance. …