It took 3,000 people up to 10 hours to get to the American Bankers Association's annual convention here, but Walter A. Dods Jr. merely hopped into his Cadillac Seville for the 10-minute drive from his oceanfront home.

Born and raised in Honolulu, the incoming ABA president is easygoing. "Leave your coats and ties at home," he advised bankers. Wearing a business suit during a trip to Washington, D.C., last month, Mr. Dods announced, "I've been here two days and I've got a rash on my neck."

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