Treasury Under Secretary John D. Hawke Jr. told trade group officials this week that the administration plans to introduce legislation in early 1997 to merge the thrift and bank charters.

In separate meetings with the Independent Bankers Association of America, America's Community Bankers, and the American Bankers Association, Mr. Hawke said the administration wants to finish its proposal by March 31, when a Treasury report on merging charters is due.

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