First Banks Inc. of St. Louis, has hired Philip A. Engstrom as a vice president and head of commercial lending in the Chicago area.

Mr. Engstrom held the same title and job at Banco Popular in Chicago.

First Banks' commercial lending operation in the area serves middle- market companies. Mr. Engstrom, who is an 18-year veteran of banking, reports to Jim Brenner, the bank's regional president for the Chicago area.

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