Clifton A. Poole Jr. is. retiring from the Comptroller of the Currency's office after 38 years of regulating national banks.

Mr. Poole, a second-generation examiner, plans to leave the agency's top job in Atlanta on Oct. 3.

"I'm ready to go," he said last week. "I'm tired of going to meetings in D.C."

Washington is one place Mr. Poole has avoided, at least for all but one of his 38 years.

"Washington is a parallel universe," he said. "It's populated by people who went to the right schools. "The heart and soul of the agency is in the field."

Since word of his retirement got out, Mr. Poole said he has been overwhelmed with touching E-mail messages from examiners he has been mentor to over the years.

In 1956, after graduating from Davidson College, in Davidson, N.C., Mr. Poole went to work as an assistant examiner in the Comptroller's Richmond office.

He transferred to Charlotte, where he examined banks until 1975. For the next three years, he ran the Richmond office. He spent a year heading the Memphis office before moving to. Dallas in 1979 to become deputy comptroller for the Southwest.

After seven years there, Mr. Poole took over the OCC's Southeastern district.

He's been in Atlanta for eight years and is itching to do something different.

"I don't want to go to another district and I don't want to go to Washington," he said. "The reasons to leave outweigh the reasons to stay?'

But at age 60, he's not ready to sit in a rocker either. Besides he has two youngsters he still needs to put through college, he said.

Mr. Poole's dad, also named Clif, was a national bank examiner for almost 20 years from the late 1920s to late 1940s.

While his dad dealt with the Great Depression, Mr. Poole said the failure of Oklahoma's Penn Square was the focal point of his era.

"It was a shock to the system," he said. "It shook the public's faith in banks."

Mr. Poole endorsed plans to consolidate the banking agencies, explaining that too much time is wasted on competition among regulators.

Mr. Poole also said he understands bankers' frustrations with examiners.

"We can ask for anything we want to, but we don't have to live with the results," he said. "The bankers do." Mr. Poole's successor has not been named.

The Senate Banking Committee sent a letter last week to Jack Ryan, acting president and chief executive of the Resolution Trust Corp., asking why Jean Lewis, Lee Ausen, and Richard Iorio, three RTC employees, were recently placed

The letter, signed by Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., questioned whether the move had anything to do with Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, and whether the matter was discussed with Treasury or White House officials.

The panel requested a report no later than Sept. 6.

The Security and Exchange Commission's only Republican member, J. Carter Beese Jr., said last week he plans to resign in the next couple of months.

Mr. Beese is against new legislation regulating derivatives. He joined the SEC in March 1992.

The Coalition for Student Loan Reform, a trade group representing secondary markets and state and nonprofit guarantors serving the guaranteed student loan market, has a new leader, Mark R. Cannon.

Mr. Cannon had led a task force on financial aid delivery for the group, and previously was director of public affairs for the Ohio-based Student Loan Funding Corp.

Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank, which settled fair-lending charges with the Justice Department last week, is one the largest credit card issuers in the Washington area.

So, it's not surprising that some fair-lending advocates in the Nation's Capitol would carry its card. At the same time, Chris Lewis, the Consumer Federation of America's banking and housing director, said he had to laugh when he received a page-and-a-half letter from Chevy Chase explaining how it's not guilty of the charges.

Mr. Lewis said he plans to keep the card.

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