American Express Financial Advisors said Friday that it is scrapping a pilot program that put financial advisers in large regional banks.

The Minneapolis-based company has two such programs under way: Five advisers are stationed in Banc One Corp. branches in Utah, and five are in Fleet Financial Group branches in New Hampshire. These programs will be discontinued in the next two to three weeks, a spokesman said.

American Express said its financial institutions group would instead concentrate on forging alliances with community banks, credit unions, and other lending institutions. The company currently has 300 advisers working in such smaller financial institutions in 34 states.

Jim Choat, president of the financial institutions group, said the regional bank program is being discontinued "mainly because that industry is going through a high degree of change."

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