WASHINGTON Examiners will more closely scrutinize derivatives trading activities at more national banks, the OCC said. Page 2 The Fed reported that loan demand, particularly for commercial financing, strengthened in most parts of the country while credit quality remained stable. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Southern National said it is buying lawn care equipment financier Refloat. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING For the first time in 15 years, no bank failed in California last year, a signal of the state's long-awaited resurgence after years of economic troubles. Page 6 Consolidation in the Missouri banking industry is prompting community banks to fish for experienced employees to bolster their staffs. Page 6 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Riggs National, the largest bank headquartered in Washington, D.C., launched a campaign to raise its profile with the affluent inside the Beltway. Page 7 MORTGAGES As executive director of the Real Estate Service Providers Council, Susan E. Johnson doesn't worry about the competition. She bends ears on Capitol Hill. Her goal: Lowering the barriers to business relationships among big realty brokers, lenders, title insurers, and appraisers. Page 8 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Despite the continued deterioration in credit quality, it was another strong quarter for the four credit card specialists. Page 17 TECHNOLOGY As the battle between computer vendors for dominance of the high-end hardware market heats up, banks should be watching carefully, experts say. Page 18 CORPORATE FINANCE In between the stock and bond markets lies a new type of security that is fast finding favor with radio companies: exchangeable preferred stock. Page 25 Dauphin Deposit's securities subsidiary, Hopper Soliday, would get some added financial muscle from the planned acquisition of the Pennsylvania- based bank by Allied Irish Banks PLC. Page 25 MARKET MONITOR The recent spate of acquisitions has encouraged some portfolio managers to add to their holdings of banks and other financial companies. Back page Banks are warmly greeting a newly issued report on managing interest rate risk that encourages them to set their own standards. Back page
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