NationsBank Corp.'s Maryland bank, which has suffered unusual executive turnover in recent years, fired its chief consumer banking official earlier this month.

Susan C. Keating, who ran NationsBank's Maryland branch operation as well as retail banking for the Middle Atlantic region, was dismissed after having been placed on indefinite administrative leave in July. Ms. Keating could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Keating recently told The Baltimore Sun she left NationsBank because of "differences in management philosophy."

NationsBank declined to comment. "Our only statement is that she has left the bank," said spokesman John Riggin in Baltimore.

Analysts and rival bankers, who demanded anonymity, said Ms. Keating had apparently not been able to meet her performance goals at NationsBank, which is known for its highly demanding corporate culture.

Ms. Keating's dismissal coincides with an executive restructuring at NationsBank's Middle Atlantic banking group, which includes Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. In a press release dated Aug. 2, group president R. Eugene Taylor announced a new executive lineup in the three states that conspicuously omitted Ms. Keating's name.

A former MNC Financial Inc. executive, Ms. Keating was promoted after NationsBank acquired her employer in 1993.

"There's a tendency on the part of these acquired managements to flee NationsBank," said consultant Arnold Danielson, who specializes in Middle Atlantic banks. "I think it's because of the centralization and lack of local decision-making."

Ms. Keating's departure is only the most recent to take place at the upper levels of NationsBank's Maryland bank. In late 1993, Frank P. Bramble, chairman of NationsBank of Maryland, and J. Harold Chandler, president of the Middle Atlantic banking group, both resigned to pursue other opportunities - Mr. Bramble as president and CEO of rival First Maryland Bancorp and Mr. Chandler as president and CEO of Provident Life and Accident Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mr. Bramble, formerly CEO of MNC, has subsequently lured dozens of former MNC officers from NationsBank to First Maryland.

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