WASHINGTON - The chairman and chief executive officer of a $7.1 billion-asset bank in Tennessee said Thursday that his board was talked out of switching to a state charter by Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke Jr.

On Jan. 6, a few weeks after National Bank of Commerce filed to become a state-chartered bank, Mr. Hawke and his agency's chief counsel, Julie L. Williams, flew to Memphis to meet with some of the bank's directors and senior managers. The bank's board voted not to pursue the charter switch nearly two weeks later.

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