WASHINGTON - Bankers rarely love their regulators, but then Andrew C. Hove Jr. is not your typical government official.

The banker from tiny Minden, Neb., leaves town today after serving 10 years, five months, and 24 days as vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. - the fifth-longest tenure in the agency's history. Mr. Hove, or "Skip" to anyone who's known him more than five minutes, won the admiration of the agency's staff and the applause of the nation's community bankers. "He epitomizes the ideal of public service - he is selfless, dedicated, conscientious, and fair-minded," said Ross Waldrop, an FDIC researcher. "The loyalty and affection he commands reflect the loyalty and affection he has shown toward the FDIC and its employees."

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