Crestar Financial Corp. has rescinded its stock repurchase program, saying the Securities and Exchange Commission staff concluded the plan was not "systematic."

Crestar had been repurchasing stock for the past five years, and in February had authorized the repurchase of up to two million shares to be used for employee benefit programs.

A total of 223,750 common shares had been bought under this authorization.

The SEC's decision stems from Crestar's 1996 pooling of interest acquisition of Citizens Bancorp. Under SEC regulations, pooled stock cannot be repurchased for two years.

The company has canceled its buyback program until Dec. 31, 1998.

But the ruling will not affect buybacks for future acquisitions or mergers.

Crestar will not buy back any shares for the dividend reinvestment or employee benefit plans or to reduce the number of shares outstanding. However, purchases to supply shares for acquisitions accounted for using the purchase method of accounting generally will be permitted.

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