To be a senior executive, especially a chief credit officer of a big regional bank has become dangerous. As Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the New York-based securities firm, points out in a recent dire report on the banking industry, a slew of senior bankers left their jobs so far in 2000. Not all of them were given the boot, necessarily; many chose to retire. But the timing is interesting.

A sampling:

  • Bank of America Corp.: Lewis W. Coleman, chairman, Banc of America Securities
  • Bank One Corp.: John McCoy, CEO, and Robert A. Rosholt, CFO
  • First Union Corp.: Robert T. Atwood, CFO, and Malcolm T. Murray, chief credit officer
  • FleetBoston Financial Corp.: David L. Eyles, CCO
  • Huntington Bancshares Inc.: Judith D. Fisher, vice chairman, and Anne Creek, CFO
  • National City Corp.: Robert G. Siefers, CFO (he remains vice chairman)
  • Pacific Century Financial Corp.: Lawrence M. Johnson, chairman and CEO, and Robert Paris, CCO
  • U.S. Bancorp, Susan E. Lester, CFO, and Philip G. Heasley, president and COO
  • UnionBanCal Corp., Peter R. Butcher, CCO
  • Wachovia Corp., Mickey Dry, CCO, and G. Joseph Prendergast, COO

"While it may be simply a coincidence," says KBW, "we find it interesting that so many chief credit officers (and other senior bankers, for that matter) have decided to retire or resign in recent months."

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