An Iowa bank holding company is teaming up with some New Mexico investors to launch a new community bank in Albuquerque.

Heartland Financial USA, Dubuque, is investing $12 million of the $15 million in capital to start Community Bank of Albuquerque.

Lynn B. Fuller, president and chief executive officer of Heartland, said his company would take a hands-off approach toward Community Bank of Albuquerque, allowing the local bank CEO, James A. Clark, to manage the bank's day-to-day operations.

Mr. Clark, a longtime New Mexico banker, said the Albuquerque market is "ideal" for a new community bank that serves small businesses and consumers.

Only one publicly held community bank, First State Bancorporation, remains in New Mexico after a wave of community bank acquisitions this decade, said Robert C. Ollech, a bank analyst at Principal Financial Services Inc. in Milwaukee. Community Bank of Albuquerque plans to open in February 1998.

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