Anthony Terracciano said Monday he would retire as president of First Union Corp. on Dec. 31, ending a 34-year banking career that included top executive posts at four large bank companies.

Mr. Terracciano, 58, joined Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union in 1996 with the merger of Newark, N.J.-based First Fidelity Bancorp., where he had been chairman, chief executive officer, and president.

"I stayed longer than I originally expected following the combination of the two companies because things were going so well," Mr. Terracciano said in a statement. A First Union spokesman said Mr. Terracciano had declined to grant interviews.

Before joining First Fidelity in 1990, Mr. Terracciano was president and chief operating officer of Mellon Bank Corp. in Pittsburgh. From 1964 to 1987, he held various executive positions at Chase Manhattan Corp., rising to vice chairman before jumping to Mellon.

First Union has not named a successor.

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