RICHMOND -- United Virginia Bank, the state's third-largest financial institution, will start revamping its operation to accompany its name change in September, officials said last week.

Plans to boost the bank's performance will include evaluating job functions of all employes, and several hundred positions could be eliminated.

"It is imperative that we direct our emphasis towards market-driven activities and high-growth markets," said Richard Tilghman, UVB's chairman, president and chief executive.

UVB, which will be renamed Crestar Financial Corp. on Sept. 1, has $9.5 billion in assets, behind only Sovran Financial Corp. and Signet Banking Corp. Changes designed to make the bank more competitive will include emphasizing customer service, investment banking, advertising, product design and new branch locations, officials said.

Top management also will be reorganized to put Tilghman in touch with many day-to-day operations.

"Our objective is for Crestar Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries to develop a well-earned reputation for excellent customer service and, consequently, for long-term financial excellence," said Tilghman.

The company has 6,200 employes and operates in Virginia, Maryland and the District.

UVB spokesman Neil Cotiaux said the changes are not aimed specifically at saving money, but designed to "redeploy functions to respond to the market better."

The changes could, however, allow the company to cut expenses by 5 percent by the end of next year.

Job functions will be reviewed "at all levels from management to clerical, systemwide," said Cotiaux.

"It is realistic to expect when the program is completed that several hundred job functions will have been impacted," said Cotiaux.

"As fas as how many employes will be affected, we don't know at this time," he said.

Some employes whose jobs will be terminated may be reassigned, and UVB also will help workers find jobs outside the bank, he sai