When William R. Klich took over as chief executive officer of Republic Bancshares last March, he predicted that by yearend the St. Petersburg, Fla., company’s earnings would be “a little better” than the $10.7 million it earned in 1999.

But after a tumultuous 10 months — capped by the announcement last week that his company lost $4.6 million for the year and $9.4 million in the fourth quarter — Mr. Klich acknowledged that “the problems were a little deeper and a little broader than I anticipated.” Aiming at the very least to avoid a repeat of 2000, Mr. Klich has unveiled a plan that includes what he calls a “plain vanilla” approach to lending, with a renewed focus on Republic’s core markets and a departure from the warehouse lending business that contributed to its recent troubles.

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