The Bank of Boston has disbanded its small public finance group, according to a spokeswoman for the bank.

"We have decided to exit this market and will no longer seek to be a senior manager on negotiated, tax-exempt financing," Constance Hubbell, the spokeswoman, said Wednesday. The decision was made in mid-June, she said.

Hubbell said the four people in the group have been reassigned within the bank, and that the move would result in no layoffs.

She said that Kathryn E. Cade, formerly managing director of public finance, is now the director of asset liability management for the bank. The bank had no comment on where the other three have been reassigned, she said.

Hubbell said declining underwriting spreads, the stiff competition for senior underwriting slots, and "the dominant role played by large investment banking firms in public finance" were factors in the bank's decision to close the department.

"The bank will continue to bid for competitive state and local general obligation bonds, trade municipal paper, and negotiate in the underwriting of bonds," she said. "But we will not seek to be senior manager."

The bank's corporate, government, and custody departments will not be affected by the move, Hubbell said.

Although the Bank of Boston was not in the top 100 underwriters of long-term debt in 1992, it was ranked 35th in 1992 in short-term debt, according to Securities Data Co. In that year, it underwrote 29 issues totaling $ 113 million.

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