Firstar Corp., under the gun to restructure costs or face a takeover, is inching closer to an announcement that could result in major cuts - including the elimination of hundreds of jobs.

On Tuesday, the $19 billion-asset Milwaukee company said it plans to consolidate its five banks into one by the fall of 1997. In addition, the bank named the senior managers who will run three major business lines: community banking (which includes retail and small-business lending), commercial banking, and trust and investment management.

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