Fifth Third Bancorp says it is still interviewing chief financial officer candidates — a search that began in May — and observers say a new CFO cannot arrive soon enough, since that executive could play a vital role in the company's plan to divest businesses to shore up capital.

In what was already a buyer's market, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy underscored the depths of uncertainty in the financial system and waning interest in making deals before the Wall Street turmoil eases, analysts said.

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