Most Banks Premiums Are Cut to - Nothing For the first time in its 61-year history, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted to drop most bank premiums to zero, shaving banks' expenses next year by nearly $1 billion. Ninety-two percent of the nation's banks will get deposit insurance almost for free. November 15 18150 Rep. Jim Leach has always been known as an intellectual on Capitol Hill. But the Iowa Republican's critics say the House Banking Committee might be better served if it were led by an old-fashioned politician. November 14 18103 The Fed gave Fleet the go-ahead to acquire Shawmut and disclosed at the same time that the Justice Department was investigating fair-lending charges against Fleet. Never before had the Fed cleared a merger deal while such an investigation was in progress. November 16 18191 New York-area political leaders and activists panned Chemical's proposed acquisition of Chase. "We believe that as banks get bigger, they must get better," said one activist at a regulatory hearing. "We don't believe that is the case here." November 17 18247 Bankers scored a major victory when congressional budget negotiators agreed to limit the federal government's share of the student loan market to 10% Under an administration initiative, the government was scheduled to claim 40% of the market this year and an additional 20% by 1998. November 13 19794 REGIONAL BANKING Also-Ran for Chief Exec Of BankAmerica Quits BankAmerica's vice chairman and chief financial officer announced his resignation. Lewis W. Coleman had lost out to David A. Coulter in the competition to succeed the retiring Richard Rosenberg as chairman and chief executive. November 15 18156 Daniel R. Smith, chairman and chief executive of First of America in Kalamazoo, Mich., said he'll retire May 1. The designated successor: his No. 2 man over the past 10 years. November 13 19768 San Francisco-based First Nationwide is selling four New Jersey branches and $510 million in deposits to Midlantic. November 14 18100 Wells Fargo's sweetened counteroffer for First Interstate drew mixed reviews, apparently hurting its chances of success. Wells upped its stock offer, but market gyrations raised doubts about the market value of the bid. Those doubts might tip the takeover battle in favor of First Bank System. November 16 18195 MBNA, Wells, and CoreStates scored the best returns on assets among the 65 largest U.S. banking companies in the third quarter, according to the American Banker's performance roundup. November 17 18225 COMMUNITY BANKING Texas Banks a Hard Sell For Big Correspondents Old habits die hard at Texas community banks, and memories are long. Despite efforts by big out-of-state regionals to reassert their correspondent banking presence, Texas' 900 community institutions prefer to deal with in-state banks. November 15 18131 New Jersey's Berkeley Federal Bank and Trust has sold most of its three- state branch network to focus on its profitable asset-disposition business and on subprime lending. November 16 18172 Persistent Hubco Inc. of New Jersey has been rebuffed again in an attempt to buy a foothold in New York State. This time the unwilling prey was MSB Bancorp. November 17 18221 Russell Goldsmith ran a major movie studio before becoming chairman and chief executive of City National Bank in Beverly Hills. Analysts are betting he'll be a big draw at the filmdom "bank to the stars." November 13 19789 Nearly everything about Home Financial of affluent Hollywood, Fla., says takeover candidate. The state's second-largest public thrift is twice as the average thrift - and about twice as profitable. November 14 18097 COMPLIANCE CRA Guide Re-Revised; Industry Dissatisfied Regulators again overhauled their instructions to examiners evaluating banks under the revised CRA. Industry officials said the changes didn't go far enough. November 16 18170 The fees banks pay to mortgage brokers should no longer have to be disclosed to borrowers, lenders told the government. But the banking industry is divided over HUD plan to leave this and other possible changes in real estate lending rules to a committee. November 16 18173 The government has added 84 names allegedly tied to illegal drug trafficking in Colombia to its 34-page list of nations and individuals that U.S. banks must avoid. November 16 18190 CREDIT UNIONS Bear Stearns Courting Small Credit Unions Wall Street powerhouse Bear Stearns wants to do business with credit unions. Most investment banks consider all but the few largest too small to be clients, but Bear Stearns says it can succeed by attracting enough of them. November 13 19787 Ed Gallagly, president of Florida Central Credit Union, says some of his peers are overlooking a profitable market: the poor. November 13 19785 An informal alliance of credit unions wants regulators to put the brakes on competition within the industry. Five credit union leaders calling themselves the Committee for Equitable Chartering Policies are trying to whip up a letter-writing campaign to the National Credit Union Administration. November 13 19786 The president of the Credit Union National Association was toppled by members embittered by a string of high-profile blunders and perceived attacks. Over the past year the industry's largest trade group has lost control over corporate credit unions, lost money on its credit card subsidiary, and been slapped around on Capitol Hill. November 13 19778 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Laying More Plans to Get Card Programs Up to Par NationsBank unequivocally belongs among the leaders in the credit card business. But increasingly, people are wondering whether the Charlotte, N.C.-based superregional is living up to its potential - and its own goals. November 17 18202 Visa U.S.A. is offering member banks an integrated system for debit card processing called the Debit Processing Service. It handles both the off- line Visa check card and the on-line Interlink card. November 16 18178 First Union revealed the names of 12 merchants it has signed to participate in a smart card trial next year in Atlanta. November 15 18155 The first installment of a quarterly research report confirmed the obvious - that banks are barraging consumers with direct-mail solicitations for cards. Fifty-seven percent of all cardholders were solicited by issuers during the last three months of 1994, Behavioral Analysis Inc. found. November 15 18143 Sears Roebuck is preparing to cross the great divide into credit card cobranding. Another retailer, Montgomery Ward, said it is testing a MasterCard issued by GE Capital. November 14 18092 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS NationsBank to Set Up Institutional Manager NationsBank, girding for battle in the hotly contested asset management business, is forming a unit to manage $30 billion in mutual funds and institutional trusts. TradeStreet Investment Associates is slated to open for business in the first quarter with 75 staff members. November 16 18194 As bank executives eye future fee income from their maturing mutual funds, they may be overlooking some obvious ways to generate profits now. Experts say a few simple steps can boost immediate returns. November 13 19777 Despite the difficulties of turning a profit, banks aren't backing off on their commitment to offer mutual funds, according to a study by Deloitte & Touche. The survey - which polled executives representing 100 banks that offer mutual funds to their customers - found that 66 felt their programs have met or exceeded expectations. November 17 18234 Securities regulators in Luxembourg gave Signature Financial the go- ahead to set up and market mutual funds there under its "hub-and-spoke" structure. That will make it easier for banks to set up mutual funds in Europe that could share costs and investment styles with portfolios managed here. November 15 18149 Assets at money-management units of banks and trust companies grew 12.4% last year, while those at units of brokerages and investment banks declined, according to a study. November 14 18107 MORTGAGES BankAmerica Still No. 1 In California Bank of America remained California's biggest mortgage lender in the first nine months of the year, but out-of-state competitors have become big players. November 13 19763 PNC Mortgage promoted Saiyid Naqvi to chief executive, citing his technological skills. The company is abandoning the use of outside brokers. November 15 18136 Banks that service the mortgages in their own portfolios are continuing to hold unrecognized value off their balance sheets, even after the recent change in accounting rules, according to a new study. November 16 18161 HUD has issued an optimistic report card on President Clinton's program to boost homeownership. November 15 18139 TECHNOLOGY Intuit Buying Internet Fund Data Supplier Intuit has a deal to acquire privately held Galt Technologies, a pioneering Internet service provider that distributes mutual fund information to cyber-savvy investors. Galt's Networth service is one of the more popular stops on the World Wide Web. Page 18 November 13 19784 Chase has tested and "is looking for ways to use" a service from AT&T and Lotus meant to let banks distribute complex Notes-formatted information over public telephone networks. November 15 18129 Microsoft's Matt Cone tried to mollify bankers at a recent conference, but apparently with little success. November 14 18112 Revenue Growth Slowing In Cash Management As corporate customers consolidate their cash management relationships, revenue growth in the business is dropping, according to Ernst & Young's annual cash management survey. November 17 18226 The ranks of players in the securities processing business will thin rapidly during the next few years, according to a Salomon Brothers report. The recent spate of bank mergers has spurred corporations to reexamine their relationships with financial institutions that provide various securities handling services. November 16 18186 FINANCE Wells Escalates Battle For First Interstate Wells launched an aggressive legal and financial assault on First Interstate's agreement to merge with First Bank System. The San Francisco bank upped its hostile bid and said it would take the offer directly to shareholders. November 14 18119 Will there be a recession? Most economists still say no, but with less certainty than a few months ago. November 13 19791 CoreStates has asked a critic, Brown Brothers Harriman's Nancy Bush, to stop covering the bank, industry sources said. Ms. Bush had called its plan to buy Bank of Boston an "abomination" and was quoted as saying "thank God" when it fell flat. November 13 19790 Earnings expectations for Eagle Finance, a fast-growing subprime auto lender, have plummeted. Graphic: 1x3 mac, today's news back to earth November 15 18147 Wall Street's long-term earnings estimates for credit card and consumer finance companies are much too high, according to a PaineWebber analyst. The average five-year growth rate forecast by analysts is 15% per year, he says; that may be three times the growth in personal income during those years. November 17 18232

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