WASHINGTON - The American Bankers Association has formed a working group to educate bankers and local communities about combating predatory lending.

The lending practices working group is to monitor state and local anti-predator legislation and participate in consumer awareness initiatives.

"A key to combating illegal lending is education, and our new lending practices working group will work diligently to find creative ways to educate the banking community and the communities they serve," said Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president of the ABA. "Consumers need to know that the safest place to get a loan is from a regulated financial institution or bank."

The group's members are: Robert Anderson, senior vice president and deputy general counsel of First Union Corp.; Laricke Blanchard, vice president and counsel in Citigroup Inc.'s Washington office; Thomas Lamb, senior vice president of PNC Financial Services Group Inc.; Bill Kelly, vice president of government relations of Wells Fargo & Co.; Kathleen Murphy, executive director of the Maryland Bankers Association; Richard Roberto, president of the European-American Community Development Corp.; and William M. Dana Jr., president and chief executive officer of Central Bank in Kansas City, Mo.

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