The board of directors of the struggling Independence Federal Savings Bank in Washington has named John A. Hall president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Hall got his undergraduate degree from Howard University and lived in Washington 20 years before moving to Miami, where he was a regional president for the $649 million-asset OneUnited Bank, an African-American-owned bank based in Boston.

Mr. Hall, whose hiring was announced Friday, is part of a new management team being put together by Morton A. Bender, an Independence shareholder who recently won regulatory approval to acquire 51% of the $159 million-asset thrift. The thrift also announced Friday that it has named Brenda Watkins Noel as chief financial officer.

Independence was founded to serve the African-American community, and Mr. Hall and Ms. Watkins Noel are both African-American. Some community leaders had feared that Independence would lose its African-American focus when Mr. Bender, who is white, won approval to acquire majority ownership.

"It is important that we let this community know that Independence Federal Savings Bank continues to be a safe and sound financial institution, that we are well capitalized and we are the oldest minority savings bank in the District of Columbia," Mr. Hall said in a press release.

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