WASHINGTON -- Former BankAmerica executive Frank N. Newman won the Senate Finance Committee's blessing Wednesday to take the No. 2 post at the Treasury Department.

Mr. Newman's nomination goes next to the floor of the Senate, wherd it is expected to be approved soon.

At his brief confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Mr. Newman pledged to keep working on banking issues if his promotion to deputy Treasury secretary is approved.

The three general issues facing banking today are modernization, safety, and fairness, he said.

"The key objectives are to allow the providers of financial services to be more efficient and adaptive to modern financial markets, to protect the safety and soundness of the system, and to assure that the system serves fairly the financial needs of a broad range of people and businesses of the nation," Mr. Newman mid the committee.

That said, Mr. Newman's promotion clearly will broaden his purview and distract the former B of A chief financial officer from banking issues.

As under secretary for domestic finance since early 1993, Mr. Newman worked to pass the interstate banking and community development bills.

No replacement for Mr. Newman has been named, leaving a big whole in this key legislative spot.

After the hearing, Mr. Newman said the search for a new under secretary has been launched.

But he noted that there is no time to get a nominee confirmed this year.

Mr. Newman is replacing Roger Altman, who resigned in the wake of last month's Whitewater hearings.

Mr. Altman came under fire for discussing the Whitewater investigation with the White House while he was acting head of the Resolution Trust Corp.

Edward S. Knight was also confirmed by the Finance Committee on Wednesday as Treasury's general counsel.

Mr. Knight, currently an adviser to Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, will replace Jean Hanson, who also lost her job to Whitewater.

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