As the thrift industry's leading federal regulator, Jonathan L. Fiechter has a unique position from which to evaluate legislation that would force a merger of the thrift and banking industries. Though Mr. Fiechter, the acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, supports changes in the thrift charter, he opposes the broad approach being taken in Congress.

Following are excerpts from congressional testimony Mr. Fiechter gave last week in which he criticized attempts to require federal thrifts to convert to bank charters by Jan. 1, 1997.

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