PORTLAND, Maine -- People's Heritage Financial Group Inc. has applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for permission to start a trust service and has hired an experienced trust officer from Keycorp to head the department.

Gary Robinson, former senior vice president and chief operating officer of Key Trust of Maine, was named senior vice president of the new division at People's Heritage, which is expected to open at the beginning of 1995 following anticipated FDIC approval by early December.

The trust market in Maine totaled $7.5 billion at the end of 1993, with a 61% growth rate over the past five years.

The $2.7 billion-asset People's Heritage is the holding company for People's Heritage Bank, with 57 branches throughout the state, and First Coastal Banks Inc., a New Hampshire holding company with 10 branches in the Portsmouth area. The company also operates mortgage servicing, leasing, investment, and real estate subsidiaries.

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