Fed Approves Zions' First Security Deal

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board on Monday approved the $5.5 billion merger of First Security Corp. and Zions Bancorp., both based in Salt Lake City.The approval is conditioned on the sale of 64 branches with deposits exceeding $2 billion in Utah and Idaho. The Fed called for one more branch and at least $100 million to be divested than the Justice Department had in clearing the deal last week. The only approval pending is from the state of California. The shareholders of both banking companies are scheduled to vote Dec. 28.

- Katharine Fraser

Chase Ordered to Pay $600,000 in Bias Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - Chase Manhattan Corp.'s bank unit must pay $600,000 for retaliating against a former employee who filed discrimination complaints against the third-largest U.S. banking company, a jury has ruled.A federal court jury in Wilmington concluded Nov. 19 that officials of Chase's credit card unit intentionally mistreated Eunice Lafate after she accused the company of passing her over for promotion because she is black.

The 10-member, all-white jury awarded Ms. Lafate $100,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages for her retaliation claims. A Chase spokesman said the bank would appeal.

Yahoo, Checkfree Expand Presentment Agreement

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Yahoo Inc. has expanded its agreement with Checkfree Holdings Corp. to allow Yahoo users to receive electronic versions of their bills. The well-known Internet portal was already allowing its users to initiate bill payments on-line.The announcement comes less than a month after Yahoo rival America Online Inc. said it planned to offer an electronic bill presentment and payment service beginning early next year. Many banks offer similar services or plan to do so.

Yahoo users will be able to receive electronic bills that Checkfree consolidates on behalf of 37 billers. The portal will add that capability to its existing bill payment service for no additional charge.

Prudential in Deal to Buy SF Technology Boutique

NEW YORK - Prudential Securities agreed to buy San Francisco-based Volpe Brown Whelan & Co., one of the last private investment banks to focus on fast-growing technology companies.New York-based Prudential, the fifth-biggest U.S. securities firm on the basis of number of brokers - 6,700 - is making the purchase to boost its shrinking share of market for initial public offerings in the United States.

Prudential slipped to No. 16 from No. 7 in the first nine months of 1999, while Volpe Brown moved up five places, to No. 21, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data Co. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

- Bloomberg News

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