WASHINGTON -- President-elect Bill Clinton criticized Thursday the agency responsible for the savings and loan bailout and promised a strong focus on the problems of the banking industry.

In a press conference in Little Rock, Ark., Gov. Clinton expressed skepticism about a recent estimate that the Resolution Trust Corp. might need $50 billion to complete its job.

"I don't have all that much confidence in the decisions of the RTC," he said, adding that the $50 billion estimate was higher than figures cited before the election. "I'm going to devote a lot of attention to the FDIC and the RTC, as well as to the condition of the banking industry."

A spokesman for the RTC said the agency has not increased its estimate of what additional funding that will be needed to complete the bailout. "We are asking for $43 billion," said Stephen Katsanos, the agency's spokesman.

However, Timothy Ryan, director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said last weekend that he would urge Gov. Clinton to seek $50 billion, which would enable the government to finish the RTC's work and capitalize the fledgling Savings Association Insurance Fund.

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