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Earl Manning ...State Division of Finance director to retire March 31

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The chief regulator of state-chartered banks and thrifts will retire March 31 after 37 years in state government.

Earl Manning, director of the Missouri Division of Finance in the state's Department of Economic Development, has announced his retirement, according to a release from the DED. Manning began his career with the division in 1962, starting as an assistant bank examiner and taking over as a commissioner in 1989. His title was later changed to director.

Under Manning's leadership, the Missouri Division of Finance has grown to regulate 352 state-chartered banks and financial institutions, with more than $37 billion in assets, the release stated. Last year, the Division of Finance received the Governor's Leadership Award for its efforts in streamlining the bank examination process. It is estimated that the move saved $220,000 for Missouri banks and their customers, the release said.

"Maintaining a safe and efficient banking system is of utmost importance for Missouri and its citizens, and Earl has certainly made a significant contribution toward that end. We owe Earl both our appreciation and respect for his accomplishments, and we wish him well in his retirement," said Gov. Mel Carnahan, in the release.

A search for a new director will begin immediately. The director is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Missouri Senate.

The Division of Finance is responsible for the incorporation and regulation of state-chartered banks, trust companies, savings banks, and savings and loan associations. The director must approve actions involving state-chartered financial institutions, such as relocation of offices, establishment of branches or increase in capital, the release said. In addition to bank examinations, the division also licenses and examines consumer credit companies, credit service organizations and money-order companies.

In addition to 352 state-chartered banks in Missouri, the division regulates 1,217 loan companies, 336 mortgage banks and 32 money-order companies.

Manning said he will spend his retirement doing volunteer work in Jefferson City and will continue to serve as a consultant in the financial services industry.

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