FBI Asks Bankers If They Dealt with Suspects

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested that all banks and thrifts operating in the United States search their records to see if they have done business with any of the 19 men suspected in the hijacking of four airplanes and the subsequent terrorist attacks last week.

The request for information, transmitted to individual institutions by federal bank and thrift regulators on Tuesday, covers accounts and other relationships, as well as fee-based transactions such as wire transfers.

Banks and thrifts were instructed to provide information to the FBI as quickly as possible, and that any institution that discovered evidence of dealings with one of the suspects would have to file a suspicious activity report.

The list of suspects, which was transmitted to individual institutions with the request, is also available on the FBI’s Web site, www.fbi.gov. — Rob Garver

BB&T Investment Banking Unit Names COO

RICHMOND, VA. — Scott & Stringfellow Inc., the brokerage and investment banking unit of BB&T Corp., named Walter Robertson 3d as its chief operating officer, effective Oct. 1.

Mr. Robertson, 47, will join Scott & Stringfellow from BB&T Insurance Services, where he was the executive officer for sales development. At Scott & Stringfellow, he will oversee the unit’s revenue-generating areas, the company said.

Scott & Stringfellow has 650 employees and 41 offices in Virginia and the Carolinas. BB&T, of Winston-Salem, N.C., bought the Richmond regional investment firm in 1999. — David Boraks

LaFalce Proposes Bonds to Aid Recovery

WASHINGTON — Rep. John J. LaFalce introduced a bill Tuesday that would create “Unity Bonds” to raise funds to respond to last week’s attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The New York Democrat’s bill is modeled after legislation introduced Friday in the Senate by Sen. Tim Johnson.

Rep. LaFalce, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said the bonds would help fund recovery operations, humanitarian relief for victims, and military efforts against terrorism.

The legislation would direct the Treasury Department to issue the bonds and create a separate fund within the department’s accounts that would be earmarked for specific recovery, relief, and anti-terrorism expenses. — Rob Blackwell

Banner Says Check Scheme to Cost $5.4M

WALLA WALLA, WASH. — Banner Corp., the $2 billion-asset parent of Banner Bank, announced late Monday that it could incur after-tax losses of up to $5.4 million in the third quarter as a result of an alleged check-kiting scheme that involved one of its former senior lending officers.

The company said it hoped to recover the loss from the commercial loan customer who allegedly perpetrated the scheme, as well as from its own insurance policies. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the loss would be reflected in Banner’s third-quarter earnings, and the company would likely be forced to restate previous financial results, the company said.

Moreover, Banner said it has learned that the former lending officer had concealed the credit weaknesses of several additional loan customers.After a reexamination of the credit worthiness of these particular customers, Banner says it expects to add a loan-loss provision of approximately $1.3 million, after taxes, for the second quarter. As a result, the percentage of assets that were nonperforming as of June 30 would increase by nine percentage points, to approximately 0.56%, the company said. — Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Fannie's Growth Slows; Keeps Profit Targets

WASHINGTON — Fannie Mae, the largest player in the secondary mortgage market, announced Tuesday that growth in its portfolio of home mortgages had slowed in August, but that it still expects to hit earnings targets in 2001 and 2002.

Fannie said its portfolio of mortgages grew to $684 billion in August, which translates into a annualized growth rate of 17%. This represents a 30% decline in growth from July, when the annualized rate was 24.4%.

Fannie purchased $22.2 billion of mortgage assets in August, down 15% from July’s $26.1 billion.

Separately, Fannie said its earnings expectations are “unchanged” from estimates posted earlier in the year, when the company predicted full-year earnings per share growth of 21%. In a release, chief financial officer Timothy Howard said that even into 2002, “we expect operating EPS growth to be consistent with the mid-teens growth rates that have characterized the past several years.” — Rob Garver

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