The Clinton administration has armed itself with data showing that CRA activists rarely succeed in stopping bank mergers. Page 2

Though the banking industry won a bankruptcy case before the Supreme Court, legal experts are divided on whether the decision will do much to help lenders. Page 3


Olivetti's bid for Telecom Italia might yield another first for commercial banks. Page 5


Community bankers do not share the Bank One chairman's view of the industry's future. Page 8


The globalization that permeates commerce and finance today has clearly affected the mutual fund industry, says the founder of Vanguard Group. Page 9

PNC is rolling out a new unit offering expanded asset management services to millionaires. Page 10


For the first time in several quarters, merger chatter dominated American Banker's quarterly Analysts Roundtable. Sean Ryan of Bear Stearns pointed to First Union, one of the decade's most acquisitive banks, as a likely target in the next round of deals. Back page

CIT Group's $4.1 billion for Newcourt Credit Group may be in jeopardy, analysts say. Page 26


Home equity experts are watching warily as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac step up their involvement in the subprime market. Page 12


Visa has taken steps to measure its smart card security against a widely recognized international benchmark. Page 14

SmartDisk has introduced an upgraded version of Smarty, a diskette- shaped device that lets personal computers read smart cards. Page 14


Hypercom said it has bought the payment security business of ICL Financial Terminals in Sweden. Page 15


The challenge of building a brand is largely to deliver the service that the name promises, says the managing director of Britain's Abbey National. Page 16

Digital Signature Trust has bought TradeWave, which provides certificate authority services to a network of electric utilities. Page 16

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