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Affiliation by name, too

Nearly 900 banking offices in 11 Western states recently changed names. With 7,474 new signs unveiled, it marked the largest title conversion program in US banking history.

Involved in the name switch are Western Bancorporation, a Los Angeles bank holding company, its 21 affiliated banks, and their subsidiaries. All banks now sport a common identification -- First Interstate Bank -- with a geographic designation tag, such as First Interstate Bank of California (formerly United California Bank).

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Also affected are worldwide representative and subsidiary offices plus international branches in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The holding company, with year-end 1980 assets of $32.1 billion, now operates as First Interstate Bancorp.

Management stresses that the change is in name only and represents no alteration in operations or personnel. Holding company shareholders formally approved the new designation on M ay 29.