The president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Alfred A. DelliBovi, said in a recent interview that he received a "gift from heaven" on his latest visit to Washington.

Preparing to dash to the airport July 7 for a flight back to New York, Mr. DelliBovi was feeling upbeat about three hours of negotiations the day before with Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman Bruce A. Morrison on Home Loan bank reform when he received an unexpected phone call at his hotel.

On the line was Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato inviting him to Capitol Hill because he and Sen. Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican sponsoring the reform bill, were eager to strike a deal on the legislation.

Armed with the results of his meeting with Mr. Morrison, Mr. DelliBovi briefed Sen. D'Amato, top Banking Committee staff member Howard Menell, and Sen. Hagel and his staff in a series of afternoon meetings.

Though the deal's details have yet to surface in written form, it is unclear whether the 11 other Home Loan banks will go along. Sources said the deal would require the banks to set aside extra risk-based capital for nontraditional investments and create nonredeemable stock.

Mr. DelliBovi said he is encouraged. "People have now come together on a genuine compromise," he said. "Things are moving in the right direction to modernize the system."

Leaders of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions have rebuffed merger overtures from the Credit Union National Association.

NAFCU's chairman, James A. Guretzky, wrote CUNA Chairman E.E. "Buck" Levins this month that their industry needs to focus on the upcoming Senate vote on legislation easing limits on credit union membership.

"One of our greatest concerns at this moment is, and should be, how to ameliorate attacks on credit unions by the banking industry and how to get (the bill) through Congress and signed by the President," he wrote. "Open debate throughout the credit union community at this time on trade association structure would at best be a distraction and at worst a sign to bankers, legislators, and credit unions that our minds are on our own interests and not the issues."

The American Bankers Association held its annual summer planning meeting Sunday and Monday at the Greenbrier resort hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The group's officers as well as members of its government relations council and state association executives were asked to fill out a questionnaire ranking positive and problem provisions of the financial reform bill.

"ABA continues to oppose the bill as it passed the House," a spokeswoman said. "But senators are willing to make improvements to it, and ABA will continue to actively discuss such improvements."

American Council of Life Insurance lobbyist Philmore B. Anderson has been promoted to the newly created position of vice president of federal relations to oversee the group's lobbyists on issues ranging from financial reform to taxes. A former insurance agents lobbyist, Mr. Anderson joined ACLI in January 1997 as assistant vice president of federal affairs.

It is all but official that Finance Board Chairman Bruce A. Morrison and banking lawyer Paul S. Quinn are out of the running to be ambassador to Ireland.

President Clinton is expected to announce this summer his intention to nominate former Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan to the post.

"I was honored to be considered by the President," said Mr. Quinn, whose primary client is Fleet Financial Group.

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