America's Community Bankers is expected to name banking consultant Diane M. Casey as its new president today, sources said Friday.

Ms. Casey is a partner at Grant Thornton LLP in Washington and has been the firm's national director of financial services since 1995.

Previously, she was executive director of the Independent Community Bankers of America, the group's No. 2 position. Ms. Casey could help ACB in recruiting community banks -- which it has been targeting.

"If it is, she's a good selection," said Donald S. Glass, president of the Community Bank League of New England. "It sends a signal from ACB to their membership that their focus is going to be on community banks. It would put to rest the notion that ACB is run by the large thrifts."

However, other sources cautioned that predictions of Ms. Casey's selection could be misguided and that former Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig may get the job.

Mr. Ludwig left Deutsche Bank AG after its June acquisition of Bankers Trust Corp., where he had been vice chairman since April 1998. Attempts to reach Ms. Casey and Mr. Ludwig on Friday were unsuccessful.

The group's current president Paul A. Schosberg announced in March that he would step down from the job by yearend. ACB is holding its annual convention in Orlando through Wednesday.

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