House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach has been in Congress since 1977. He is expected to be reelected this fall to a 12th term. But in a recent interview he said, "I do not visualize a congressional career as a permanent career."

The Iowa Re-publican said he can see himself becoming an academic or a journalist when he leaves Capitol Hill.

Though optimistic his party will retain control of the House, Rep. Leach said Republicans need to do a better job of working together and with Democrats.

"In terms of attitude we haven't done as well as we could have," he said. "We have a real problem with comity in the House. Cloakroom angst is very high."

The cloakroom is the room off the House floor that is open only to lawmakers.

If he were a senator, he said, he would vote to confirm John D. Hawke Jr. as comptroller of the currency. Mr. Hawke is a "very able man, of distinguished background and high principles," Rep. Leach said, adding he expects to "differ on an issue or two." For example, where new bank powers should be housed.

And finally, Rep. Leach tactfully made clear he does not think much of the way the industry lobbies legislative issues. "The banking industry would be wise to review its strategy of the last few years," he said, describing it as "uninvolved" and "disrespectful."

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National Credit Union Administration Chairman Norman E. D'Amours is going to China, and the credit unions he regulates may be footing the bill.

The chairman and four NCUA colleagues are traveling at the invitation of the People's Bank of China and an association of Chinese rural credit cooperatives, which sent 16 representatives here on July 6 to meet with NCUA representatives. According to agency spokesman Robert E. Loftus, the Chinese groups plan to set up an independent regulator for the cooperatives and see the NCUA as a model.

"We have a long-standing tradition of helping credit unions in other countries," Mr. Loftus said.

Joining Mr. D'Amours are executive assistant W. Robert Hall, director of supervision Steve Austin, regional director Tawana James-Stevens, and Mr. Loftus. They leave Aug. 13 and return Aug. 21. Chairman D'Amours' wife will join the delegation, but at the couple's expense.

Mr. Loftus could not provide details on the trip's cost, nor how much of it credit unions would bear. "We may wind up paying nothing, and we may wind up paying it all," he said.

Mr. D'Amours was not available for comment.

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Longtime Chase Manhattan Corp. lobbyist Eugene F. Swanzey has joined the Mortgage Bankers Association to help boost its appeal to banks.

Mr. Swanzey, who took early retirement after 24 years at Chase, said he plans to give up the weekly shuttle flights from New York and move to Washington-though he and his wife have not picked out a place yet. He was hired by the MBA in June.

Mr. Swanzey was joined in July by former Consumer Bankers Association lobbyist Barbara Albrecht. Their initial duties include lobbying for more simplified rules for the Truth-in-Lending and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts.

Michael Ferrell, vice president of government relations, said the group wanted to "take a closer look at issues that are important to banks, as well as their mortgage subsidiaries."

Ms. Albrecht is returning to the lobbying scene after four years in Thailand, where her husband was a State Department official. While there, she was director of foreign affairs for the University of Chiang Ma.

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Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato and fellow Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel soothed each other's wounds with some comic banter last week.

Moments after the committee shot down Sen. D'Amato's attempt to attach his ATM surcharge ban to a regulatory relief bill for banks, Sen. Hagel withdrew his own controversial amendment to reform the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

The Nebraskan was frank during his inglorious moment: He lacked the votes and wanted to keep the plan alive for another day.

"I think my amendment is better for many reasons," he said, comparing it with an alternative version.

"I think mine was too," chimed in Sen. D'Amato.

"But you just lost," Sen. Hagel said. "That is for now," the New York Republican countered.

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R. Scott Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of Goodhue County National Bank, Red Wing, Minn., has been nominated at the next American Bankers Association president.

Nominated as the ABA's president-elect is Hjalma E. Johnson, chairman of East Coast Bank Corp., Dade City, Fla. Donald R. Mengedoth was tagged as first vice president and Harley D. Bergmeyer as treasurer. Respectively, they are president and CEO of Community First Bankshares, Fargo, N.D., and chairman, president and CEO of Saline State Bank, Wilber, Neb.

Several executives from large banks slated to join the ABA board of directors are L.M. Baker Jr., chairman and CEO of Wachovia Corp., Winston- Salem, N.C.; R. Eugene Taylor, president of NationsBank Florida, Jacksonville; and Eugene A. Miller, chairman and CEO of Comerica Inc., Detroit. ABA members will vote on the nominees in September.

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