REGIONAL BANKING: MIDLANTIC CORP. said it agreed to purchase Pennsylvania's Old York Road Bancorp for $28.25 million. Midlantic's first bank acquisition in five years will cost a hefty 2.13 times book, but CEO Garry Scheuring said it "fits well with our retail banking strategy." Page 4 WASHINGTON: PRESSING ITS CASE for deposit insurance premium cuts, the American Bankers Association rebutted the concerns of a key government official in a 13-page paper late last month. Page 2 THE OUTGOING chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee last week strongly criticized a Comptroller's office proposal that could allow bank subsidiaries to underwrite securities. Page 2 COMMUNITY BANKING: READERS OF Paul S. Nadler's Weekly Adviser column were rather stingy in sharing their strategy for charitable contributions, but one suggested making gifts of time and effort rather than money. Page 5 SMALL BUSINESS: THE SECONDARY market for SBA-guaranteed loans has changed dramatically over the past decade. Started in the early 1970s as an informal trading of loans between banks, it has grown at a 21.6% compounded annual rate since 1984, when Congress gave the agency authority to pool the guaranteed portion of loans it backs. Page 7 TECHNOLOGY: INTERACTIVE TV might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but many bankers are tuning in to its potential as a conduit for home banking services. Page 9 OVERALL, it was a very good year for publicly held bank technology companies, as most firms tracked by the American Banker saw double-digit percentage increases in their stock prices. Page 9 FINANCE: A HANDFUL of high-profile investors, taking advantage of the general downturn afflicting the sector, staked out new and increased positions in selected U.S. banks in the final months of 1994 - and that was enough to steady their share prices while other bank issues continued to decline. Back page IN AN EFFORT to bolster its proprietary trading activities and tap into a global network of derivatives traders, First Union Corp. has turned over a portion of its swaps business to an outside management firm. Back page CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: SOME RETAILERS may have been disappointed by the holiday shopping season, but credit card associations reported record gains in charge volume, continuing the yearlong trend of steady growth. Page 12 SCHLUMBERGER, a French industrial conglomerate active in the manufacturing of smart cards, has acquired Malco Inc., the largest U.S. producer of plastic payment cards. Page 12
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