The chairman and chief executive officer of First American Bank of New York has resigned to become vice chairman of Chemical Banking Corp.'s New Jersey subsidiary.

William M. Duncan, 53, left the unit of troubled First American Bancshares this week. A Chemical spokesman said he will assume the newly created New Jersey post Nov. 16.

A Homecoming

The move is something of a homecoming for Mr. Duncan, who joined Chemical as a management trainee in 1962 and stayed 24 years. When he left to join First American in 1986, he was senior vice president in charge of consumer lending.

In his new post at the $5.2 billion-asset New Jersey subsidiary, Mr. Duncan will run commercial banking, including the middle-market and small-business operation. He also will have staff responsibility for human resources.

Mr. Duncan, who could not be reached for comment, will report to Aristides W. Georgantas, chairman and chief executive of Chemical Bank New Jersey.

Subsidiaries to Be Sold

His departure from First American Bank of New York came in anticipation of a plan by its Washington, D.C.-based parent to sell all its subsidiaries. First American Bancshares has been plagued with a deposit run since it was implicated last year in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.

It has been instructed by the Federal Reserve Board to sell its four subsidiary banks by July.

George L. Davis, president and chief executive of the holding company, is assuming Mr. Duncan's responsibilities. An acquirer for the New York unit, which has two branches in New York City and 40 in upstate New York, is expected to be named this month, a bank spokeswoman said.

Speculation on Buyers

She declined to name the bidders. KeyCorp, based in Albany, N.Y., and First Empire State Corp., Buffalo, have both been mentioned in local press reports as possible buyers. Officials at the two companies declined to comment.

First American New York, with $1.3 billion in assets, reported a loss of $4.2 million in the third quarter, when its parent lost $8.3 million. It is primarily a business lender and is suffering from big commercial real estate problems.

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