DALLAS - Former banker Keith W. Hughes has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Associates Corporation of North America, the consumer finance subsidiary of Ford Motor Co.

He replaces Reece A. Overcash Jr., who died Jan. 17.

Mr. Hughes, 48, had been president and chief operating officer since 1991 and vice chairman from 1988 to 1991. As the company's No. 2 executive, his promotion to the top spot was not unexpected.

He is a former banker, having served as a vice president and director of marketing for Northwestern National Bank in Minneapolis from 1974 to 1976, when he joined San Francisco-based Crocker National Bank. Mr. Hughes held various positions at Crocker National, including retail banking manager and manager of statewide branch banking. He became president of Associates' credit card unit in 1981.

Based in Dallas, Associates is part of Ford's Financial Services Group, with assets of $30.9 billion.

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