The Republican sweep of last week's elections included a State Assembly race in Wisconsin in which banker -- and Democrat -- Christopher Eager was defeated.

"It's part of the Republican landslide," said Mr. Eager, assistant cashier of Union Bank and Trust Co., Evansville, a $40 million-asset bank owned by his family.

"As far as Wisconsin is concerned, their message was, 'We're going to cut government spending and not raise taxes.' The voters believed them. I don't think it can be done."

Mr. Eager said he got 6,544 votes to 7,464 for his GOP opponent, Mike Powers. A third-party candidate got 1,825.

Mr. Eager, who comes from a Republican family, earlier had said he would have been the only banker in the state Legislature, if elected. The 41-year-old former Evansville mayor and alderman said it's too soon to say whether he will run for office again.

***

Community bankers got some good news Monday afternoon from the chief bank examiner of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Jimmy Barton told the American Bankers Association's Community Bankers Council that the OCC is consolidating its regions' diverse examination rules into two uniform national guidelines for complex and non-complex banks.

The agency is defining a non-complex bank as a low-risk institution with a strong performance record and less than $1 billion of assets. Comptroller Eugene Ludwig first promised such a system in February.

The agency's lawyers are also rewriting all of the department's regulations to remove unnecessary burdens and clarify what regulators expect from bankers.

Apparently, the revision was good news for Mr. Barton, too.

"At least, now I can read the regulations," he said.

***

A thrift in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has found a market in endangered antelopes.

BankAtlantic, a $1.5 billion-asset thrift, has planned a temporary minibranch for the 2,000 international delegates attending this month's United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The 12-day convention in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center is discussing the over-exploitation and extinction of wildlife around the globe.

BankAtlantic will offer delegates a wide range of banking services, including multilingual automated teller machines, currency exchange for more than 20 foreign currencies, and wire transfers to and from anywhere in the world.

"Extinction is forever," branch manager Mary McDonough commented. Unfortunately for BankAtlantic, the convention isn't.

-- Barbara Bronstien, Jonathan Epstein, and Christopher Rhoads contributed to this column.

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