First Interstate Bancorp chairman William E.B. Siart has laid out ambitious financial goals for the company that would rank it among the industry's best performers.

In a presentation at a Merrill Lynch & Co. investor conference in New York last week, and in a telephone interview, Mr. Siart said he now expected to exceed a 20% return on equity for the foreseeable future and increase per-share earnings at least 10% a year - at least 15% in good years.

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