The American Bankers Association is forming an affiliate to promote bank insurance activities.

Plans for the ABA Insurance Association began a year ago, after several bankers said they wanted the trade association to put more muscle behind efforts to expand bank insurance powers.

Heading the group, which holds its first meeting Oct. 16, will be Larry P. LaRocco, who is also managing director of another affiliate, the ABA Securities Association.

"One of our main goals is to take advantage of the ABA's tremendous lobbying capacity," he said. "We also want to tap the power of our state associations because most of the insurance battles are being waged in the legislatures."

So far, six banking companies have agreed to join the group: Chase Manhattan Corp., Citicorp, PNC Corp., National City Corp., BankBoston Corp., and BankAmerica Corp. Dues are $15,000 a year.

James C. Sivon of Washington law firm Barnett & Sivon is the group's outside counsel.

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