Mellon Bank Corp. said Friday that its chief economist, Richard Berner, had resigned on Feb. 12.

Mr. Berner, 52, is returning today to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. as an economist. He had worked at Mellon for six years.

Reached by telephone Friday at his home in Pittsburgh, Mr. Berner would not elaborate on his new position.

His departure from Mellon leaves the $50 billion-asset company without an economics department. A spokesman said no successor has been named, and that the position may not be filled.

"We are reviewing alternatives at this time," said Stephen Dishart, the Mellon spokesman.

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