Thrifts won another preliminary victory last week in their regulatory goodwill fight, yet a ruling on how much the government must pay for eliminating this favorable accounting treatment was delayed until next month.

Chief Judge Loren A. Smith ruled Friday that the government broke its promise to let Bank United Corp. count regulatory goodwill as capital for up to 40 years. The Houston-based bank earned the goodwill in 1988 when it acquired United Savings Association of Texas, a nearly broke thrift.

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