Norwest Moves to Cash In On Colorado Foreign Trade

Norwest Corp. said it has established an international banking unit at the headquarters of its Colorado subsidiary to take advantage of the state's growing overseas trade.

The new unit is named Norwest Bank International-Colorado and has an initial staff of 22, almost all of whom were drawn from United Bank of Denver.

Leading the unit is David J. Loechel, vice president-business development at United, and Rita Nilsen, vice president-operations.

The bank's parent, United Banks of Colorado, was acquired by Norwest in April.

In explaining why Norwest went to the expense of establishing an international banking subsidiary in Denver, Norwest executive vice president Darin Narayana said Colorado last year racked up $3 billion in exports and its export business was rising 7% to 9% per year.

Mr. Narayana said roughly 150 foreign-owned companies are headquartered in Colorado.

Tourism Cited

He also said the state's robust tourism industry has sparked demand for international banking services.

Norwest's new international banking office in Denver will offer export financing, facilitate trade settlements, provide global funds transfer services, and offer import and export advisory services, Mr. Narayana said.

Norwest also operates international banking offices in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The company says it has correspondent banking relations with more than 500 banks in more than 100 countries.

Experienced Global Bankers

Mr. Loechel has been active in international banking at United Banks of Colorado since 1985, mostly recently holding the title of vice president-international.

He holds a master's degree from American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona. He started his banking career in 1982, at American National Bank in Chicago.

Ms. Nilsen began working in international banking in 1979, at United Banks of Colorado, and most recently held the title of international operations group manager.

She has a degree from the Graduate School of International Banking at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She serves on the automation committee of the U.S. Council on International Banking.

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