EXTERNAL AUDITS: Proposal by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to urge banks with less than $500 million of assets to establish external auditing programs. Published Feb 17. Comments due April 20.

TRUST RATINGS: Proposal by banking and thrift regulators to bring the trust rating system in line with the Camels system used for judging a bank's performance. Published Feb. 17. Comments due April 20.

ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS: A proposal by the Treasury Department that the government follow most of the banking industry's rules for electronic payments via the automated clearing house network. Published Feb. 4. Comments due May 4.

MERGER APPLICATIONS: Proposal by the banking and thrift regulators to develop a uniform application for bank mergers that would simplify paperwork when approvals are required from more than one agency. Published Jan. 21. Comments due March 23.

FOREIGN BANKING: Proposal by the Federal Reserve Board to expand the ability of foreign branches of U.S. banks to underwrite securities and to invest in foreign companies. It also would make it easier for foreign banks to branch in the United States. Published Dec. 31. Comments due March 14.

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