The Justice Department's top fair-lending cop is preparing to fly the coop.

Paul F. Hancock, chief of the housing section, is planning to join the Florida Attorney General's office, where he will investigate fraud and discrimination against the elderly.

Sources cautioned that the deal is not final; but Mr. Hancock is expected to depart this summer. The news is not unexpected. Rumors had been circulating for more than a year that the 27-year Justice Department veteran was ready to move on.

Mr. Hancock spearheaded all 10 fair-lending investigations against the banking industry. He has run the 40-lawyer housing section for nine years.

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A new rule linking salaries of Federal Home Loan bank presidents to the private sector is too generous, Treasury Under Secretary John D. Hawke Jr. said in an interview last week.

Under the new requirement, which took effect Jan. 2, the Federal Housing Finance Board turned over responsibility for setting the presidents' salaries to their boards of directors.

"I'm disappointed that the Finance Board didn't take a more robust position on the presidents' compensation," Mr. Hawke said.

According to the new rule, Federal Home Loan bank presidents will make 5% less than the average salary of chief executives at nearby financial institutions of comparable asset size.

For example, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines President Thurman C. Connell could see his salary rise as much as $59,350 to $305,000.

"To link their salaries to purely commercial enterprises is not the way the public interest should be preserved," Mr. Hawke said.

The salaries should be in line with the Federal Reserve Bank presidents, generally less than private sector pay, he said.

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Philmore B. Anderson, senior Washington representative for the Independent Insurance Agents of America, has joined a new lobbying team being formed by the American Council of Life Insurance.

Mr. Anderson is the first of four people being hired to staff the council's new general lobbying unit. The team will support the group's five specialized lobbyists, including Allen R. Caskie, who handles banking issues.

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Departing Federal Reserve Board Gov. Lawrence B. Lindsey noted last week that he was not a victim of New England's real estate crash. Against the advice of his real estate agent, Mr. Lindsey accepted the first bid on his house in Boston when he moved from Boston to Washington in 1989.

The quick deal allowed him to sell at the height of the market, just months before prices plummeted. "One of my hopes in life is I don't meet the couple I sold it to," he quipped Thursday.

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Daniel J. Forte became president of the Massachusetts Bankers Association Jan. 1. He follows Richard D. Driscoll, who retired after heading the group for six years.

Previously, Mr. Forte was the group's executive vice president for corporate and federal policy. He joined the Massachusetts Bankers in 1985, after stints as chief operating officer for the National Council of Savings Institutions and operations officer for Citibank.

"Dan has proven himself a very knowledgeable and capable advocate for the industry," said MBA chairman Robert F. Verdonck, who is also president of East Boston Savings Bank.

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