The bank just wasn't sure of exactly what the new ruling, the SEC's Regulation FD, would allow or disallow. The rule says that all "material" corporate information would have to be made available to the general public simultaneously with its distribution to anyone else."We had to pull back a little bit while we tried to understand the implications," says Jay Gould, senior vice president of investor relations at the Chicago-based bank. "The immediate reaction from inside and outside counsel was: 'Let's study the new rule a little bit more.'"

But issues shortly began to become clearer, and Bank One quickly resumed meeting with analysts in "small groups or one-on-one," he says.

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