To the Editor:

We believe the New York State Banking Department deserves praise, not the criticisms reported in the Feb. 15 American Banker, for extraordinary and arduous efforts in the seizure of Nationar.

Nationar, a commercial bank founded in 1933 and owned by New York savings banks, was in recent years governed by a board and management drawn largely from outside the banking industry. Nationar had expanded its customer base to include retailing and communications industries and the State of New York in addition to financial institutions.

On Feb. 6, the Banking Department took possession of Nationar as a result of its deteriorating financial condition.

The department's virtually round-the-clock work has minimized any disruption to Nationar's customers and the public, avoiding potentially very serious banking conditions. The public also has been well served by the department's openness and accessibility. It has helped the financial community understand and cope with an extremely difficult and unfortunate situation.

The New York State Banking Department enjoys a national reputation for diligent and effective regulation. Once again, we believe, it has in difficult circumstances met the highest and best standards for state banking regulation. John D. Garrison President and chief executive, Walden (N.Y.) Savings Bank Editor's Note: Mr. Walden is chairman of the Community Bankers Association of New York State.

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