One of New York's venerable banking names may be ready to join the ranks of asset-backed security issuers, while another New York banking institution bows out of one area of lending activity.

Dime Bancorp Inc., the state's largest thrift institution, said it has completed the purchase of the automobile finance unit of Citigroup Inc., parent of the nation's largest banking organization. The acquisition is designed to expand Dime's consumer lending business, while providing Citigroup with an exit strategy from the auto lending business. The price was not disclosed.

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