Derivatives - viewed by some as a deadly virus capable of destroying financial institutions and careers - will disappear from many community banks' balance sheets next year, according to a recent nationwide survey.

Though 84% of the more than 800 community banks surveyed invest in the financial instruments that were the focus of so many negative headlines in 1994, only 58% of those banks expect to invest in them in the future, according to the poll, which was conducted by Grant Thornton LP, a financial consulting firm.

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