Signet Banking Corp. has restructured its consumer lending businesses in the wake of David K. Hunt's departure from the credit card unit.

The bank this week told employees that executive vice president Richard D. Fairbank, one of Mr. Hunt's key deputies, will head the credit card unit. It had not been determined whether he would get a new title.

Mr. Fairbank, 42, will report to T. Gaylon Layfield 3d, the senior executive vice president of Signet's five other consumer banking divisions.

Friends Stunned

Mr. Hunt had been a senior executive vice president of the credit card division, which operated independently of the other consumer areas. In the restructuring, the card unit is being placed under the same umbrella "to make management more efficient," a spokeswoman said.

The departure of Mr. Hunt for the top job at AT&T Universal Card Services last month reportedly, stunned even his closest friends at Signet.

The banker had been with the company for 23 years, and he left when the credit card unit was in the middle of an unprecedented buildup.

Mr. Fairbank was instrumental in developing predictive modeling systems, which are being used to target heavy card users.

The targeting has enabled the bank to nearly double balances under management to about $3 billion in one year - in a highly competitive marketplace - while keeping delinquencies to a minimum.

Four Years with Company

Mr. Fairbank joined the bank four years ago, along with senior vice president Nigel W. Morris, from an outside consulting firm that recommended the bank adopt the computer modeling technology.

He has been executive vice president of credit card account acquisitions for the bank.

Mr. Hunt's other main deputies - William F. Binns, an executive vice president of operations, and Mr. Morris, who heads account management - remain in those positions.

Mr. Layfield, 41, already was in charge of consumer lending, consumer real estate, educational funding, trust and financial services, and the retail delivery network.

Signet also put executive vice president Robert L. Bryant, 43, in charge of a newly formed information technology division.

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