The American Bankers Association is inching ahead toward formation of an affiliated trade group to focus on mutual funds, derivatives, and other securities issues.

Now, three months after the ABA said it would create the group, bankers involved in putting it together are interviewing people to run it.

"We are in the process of recruiting a director and staffing the group," said Hugh Chairnoff, executive vice president and treasurer of National Westminster Bank, Jersey City, N.J.

The new trade group is called the American Bankers Securities Association. It was created as a separate trade group under the umbrella of the ABA.

A spokeswoman for the ABA confirmed that the Washington-based trade association is "still signing people up" for the 12-person board of directors of the securities group. She declined to disclose the names of those who have already been enlisted.

When the ABA announced that it was creating the securities trade group, officials said the it would be up and running in the first quarter of 1995. The ABA now appears likely to meet that goal. The ABA spokeswoman said that the securities association's board should be ready for its first meeting in four to six weeks.

The securities association plans to have its own staff and to employ its own lawyers but to rely on the ABA for lobbying support and other resources.

The trade group will focus initially on derivatives, bank-operated mutual funds, and banks' own broker-dealer activities, Mr. Chairnoff said.

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