MARINE MIDLAND Bank seems to be proving that the agent banking business is still viable, and not just for the biggest credit card issuers.

Prominent players like Banc One Corp., MBNA Corp., and Norwest Corp. may be better known as card issuers and for operating card programs for smaller institutions. But Marine Midland has kept its relatively small-scale agent business on track, even through hard times when a less determined institution might have tagged it for the auction block.

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