"Maybe there's a credit crunch in other places, but there isn't in the state of Connecticut," Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. baldly told a conference of business executives June 23.

That startled some bankers in the audience, including some from Bank of Boston Corp., which sponsored the forum. Though New England bankers were insisting only a few months ago that the problem was a lack of demand from borrowers - not a squeeze by lenders - Bank of Boston is now trumpeting a $3 billion regional loan initiative to distinguish it from competitors.

While the governor spoke to reporters after his speech, Bank of Boston president Charles K. Gifford told the audience that he "respectfully disagreed" with Mr. Weicker. The credit crunch in New England is real, he said.

A bank spokesman confirmed that Mr. Gifford took issue with the Connecticut governor. But he wouldn't comment on reports that competitors reacted with glee to the apparent turn-around in Bank of Boston's perspective on the credit crunch.

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