EXTERNAL AUDITS: Exam Council proposal urging banks with less than $500 million of assets to establish external auditing programs. Published Feb. 17. Comments were 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 were due April 20.

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

MARGIN RULES: Fed proposal to adjust the margin requirements contained in Regulations T, U, and X. Published Jan. 16. Comment deadline extended to May 1.

MERGERS: 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 were due March 23.

ARM DISCLOSURE: OTS interim rule to simplify disclosure requirements for adjustable-rate mortgages. Published and effective Jan. 8. Comments were due March 9.

THRIFT CAPITAL: OTS proposal to exempt healthy independent thrifts from the agency's notification requirement when making certain capital distributions. Published Jan. 7. Comments were due March 9.

FOREIGN BANKING: Fed proposal 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 were due March 14.

MARKET RISK: Interim rule by the banking agencies eliminating a requirement that banks with large securities trading portfolios hold half the market risk capital demanded under international standards. Published Dec. 30 and effective Dec. 31. Comments were due March 2.

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