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Valley Utah Bancorp. has initiated a company-wide early retirement program for its 700 employees.

President and chief executive officer Fred H. Stringham said the program is designed to reduce staff.He said Valley Bank has not determined how many jobs must be cut or savings realized through the program, but the company does not anticipate layoffs to occur after the early retirement plan is completed.

Since its merger last year with Valley National Corp. of Arizona, Valley Utah has trimmed fewer than 50 jobs through layoffs, attrition and early retirement as part of consolidating operations, Stringham said.

Valley National said earlier this year that its Utah operation would not be affected by anticipated layoffs to cover 1987's $44 million corporate loss.

Since becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of its Phoenix-based parent, Valley Utah hasn't disclosed its quarterly results. But Stringham said the Utah bank has experienced growth in assets and deposits during the past 12 months.

"They are a bank with large resources and it (the merger) has been good for the company and the economy," he said.