With industry consolidation and interstate branching diminishing its ranks, the California Bankers Association has changed its bylaws to accept out-of-state banks and thrifts as members.

The trade group's members approved the change-recommended by its board of directors in March-at the annual meeting here this month.

Also at the meeting, Kathleen J. Burke, vice chairman of human resources at BankAmerica Corp., was elected president of the 108-year-old trade group. Ms. Burke, the first woman to be elected to the position, will serve a one-year term. She said the association remains committed to supporting community banks, the bulk of its membership.

Addressing members at the annual meeting, she added that the NationsBank-BankAmerica megamerger will not lessen the combined institution's role in the association.

Ms. Burke plans to hit the road this year to meet with community bankers to uncover common concerns. Tops on her agenda is for the association to take a forceful role on the lingering year-2000 and electronic commerce issues. Ms. Burke said the association would extend its sphere of influence in government and regulatory circles, and that it must help establish the ground rules.

Regarding electronic commerce, she said banks are concerned about the protection of customer privacy with the advent of data mining and smart cards.

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