First Union Corp., which helped cool the market for bank stocks and big mergers last year by missing earnings targets, could now be sowing the seeds for a recovery by the group.

First Union, the nation's sixth-largest bank, at $253 billion of assets, lost credibility with a series of earnings revisions in 1999 and has been doing damage control ever since. But a series of operational changes - such as more stringent accounting procedures, more spending on its retail branch system, and efforts by the new president, G. Kennedy Thompson, to boost morale - are helping the Charlotte, N.C., banking company to regain support.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.