WASHINGTON - The Federal Accounting Standards Board issued a study Monday that highlights model disclosures by nine regional banking companies to improve communications with investors.

The disclosures by Bank One Corp., BankBoston Corp. (now part of FleetBoston Financial Corp.), Fifth Third Bancorp, KeyCorp, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., State Street Corp., SunTrust Banks Inc., U.S. Bancorp, and Wachovia Corp. include data on loan growth, credit quality, fee income, operating efficiency, capital management, and management strategy.

(The FASB began collecting its data in January 1998, before BankBoston merged with Fleet Financial Group to form FleetBoston.)

Researchers noted that the companies are voluntarily disclosing a wide variety of data, such as the percentage of telemarketing calls that resulted in new product sales, sources of non-interest income, reductions of full-time employees, and targeted performance goals for growth in such areas as return on equity.

The objective of the study - outlined in a 90-page report titled "Improving Business Reporting: Insights Into Enhancing Voluntary Disclosures" - was to show that many leading companies in various industries are making extensive voluntary disclosures.

"The examples serve to provide companies with helpful ideas of how to describe and explain their investment potential to investors," the study said. "The basic premise … is that improving disclosures make the capital allocation process more efficient and reduces the average cost of capital."

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