CREDIT LETTERS: The Federal Housing Finance Board approved a rule that makes it easier for the 12 Home Loan banks to issue standby letters of credit to banks and thrifts. To be published this month. Effective 30 days after publication.

FED SERVICES: The Fed agreed to cut by an average of 17.5% the cost of its electronic payment services. The biggest savings will be for Fed Wire fund transfers, the cost of which will drop by an average of 30%. To be published shortly. Effective for most services on Jan. 4.

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