NASD Probing Bank One Unit

FRAMINGHAM (04/21/2000) - The regulatory arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers is investigating Banc One Capital Markets for possible violations resulting from systems integration problems that surfaced from the 1998 merger between Bank One Corp. and First Chicago NBD Corp.

Details of the investigation, prompted by a routine regulatory examination, weren't available since NASD offices were closed today along with the rest of Wall Street in observance of Good Friday. However, the Chicago-based bank issued a statement that said while it's not the bank's policy to discuss regulatory matters, "bookkeeping problems resulted from the systems conversion in our capital markets units and their consolidation in 1999."

The statement went on to add that while the bookkeeping problems had "no impact on customers . . . the financial impact on the company will be minuscule." A spokesman for the bank declined to comment further.

Bank One, the nation's fifth-largest bank, has suffered through a string of problems since mid-1999, when it first began reporting that its earnings would suffer due to poor results from its First USA credit-card division.

Earlier this week, the bank announced as part of its first-quarter earnings that net income contributions from its First USA unit declined $233 million for the period, from $303 million to $70 million.

In addition, a wave of executives have left the bank since last October, including Richard Vague, the CEO of First USA, and John McCoy, the bank's CEO, who opted for early retirement in December. Yesterday, the bank's chief financial officer, Robert Rosholt, announced his resignation effective May 1.

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