Victor M. Richel has been elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Statewide Savings Bank, Jersey City.

Mr. Richel was group vice president of consumer services at Elizabethtown Gas Co. in Union. He is taking the bank's helm from William F. Davidson, who was named chairman emeritus.

Mr. Richel has been a been a member of the bank's board for 20 years and is chairman of its audit and compliance committees.

He had been with the gas company for 31 years, holding executive jobs with the utility and its parent, NUI Corp. of Bedminster. He held responsibilities for marketing, rates, supply, customer service, and administration.

Mr. Richel said he plans to focus on increasing the bank's market share while maintaining a high level of customer service. "I believe my experiences in the utility business will be easily transferred to the banking business, providing Statewide with a fresh way of looking at opportunities," he said.

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