Looking for a "Pristine 2-3 BR, 2 1/2 ba., country kit., sep. din. rm. & south patio" in Washington's tony Georgetown neighborhood?

Well, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer is looking to sell it, for a mere $379,000.

Ms. Helfer, who put her house on the market last month, married banking lawyer Michael Helfer in January.


Joe Pigg, chief of staff for Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., is leaving Congress to become a lobbyist for New York City. Mr. Pigg, who was the main author of the House Banking Committee's regulatory relief bill, will join the city's 10-person staff on Oct. 10.

A Nebraska native, Mr. Pigg has been a Capitol Hill staff member since 1990. His specialties are consumer credit and housing, in addition to banking - all important issues to New York City.

More supportive of the Community Reinvestment Act than many House Republicans, Mr. Pigg said he was disappointed when narrow CRA exemptions he designed for small rural banks were expanded in the regulatory relief bill to all banks with less than $100 million of assets.


When House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach met with members of the Bankers' Roundtable recently, the Capitol Hill leaders were a little vague on the likely fate of current banking legislation.

But on one topic they were very clear: Bankers need more political savvy.

In a question-and-answer session, the House leaders said rival interest groups, particularly the independent insurance agents, have had more success influencing legislation because they don't leave their politicking to lobbyists. They bring in members who are louder, more aggressive, and more passionate on the issues.

"They made it clear that the banking industry is battling with some folks who are very vocal and deeply involved in the political process," said one Roundtable source.


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last week tapped Chris Lewis to head its community relations division.

Mr. Lewis has been a program coordinator for community and consumer affairs at the agency since October of last year. Prior to that, he was director of banking and housing policy for the Consumer Federation of America.

In his new post, Mr. Lewis will act as a liaison between the Comptroller's office and consumer and community groups.


The American Bankers Association is going to be short one dignitary at it annual convention next week in San Francisco. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, who regularly attends the trade group's shindig, had to pass this year to attend the International Monetary Fund's meeting in Washington.

Central bank lovers, have no fear - various Fed staff members will be on hand.


In addition to regulating 500 state banks with $47 billion in assets, Texas Banking Commissioner Catherine Ghiglieri monitors a portion of the state's funeral industry.

"Like the bankers, the funeral industry has conventions that I get asked to speak at," Ms. Ghiglieri told a Women in Housing and Finance luncheon last week. "You know the things that bankers have in their exhibit hall? Well, the funeral directors' associations have caskets and embalming fluids, while the cemetery associations have the grave markers and the vaults.

"But the cemetery convention is great, because they have a golf tournament, and they call it the 'Gravedigger's Open!'"

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