NEW YORK -- A settlement reached by the government and liquidators of the Bank of Credit and Commmerce International could help speed the sale of BCCI's bank subsidiary in Washington.

Under the agreement, announced by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau at a press conference Thursday, up to $270 million in frozen BCCI funds can be used to recapitalize the subsidiary, First American Bankshares Inc., and another U.S. unit, Independence Bank in Encino, Calif.

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