REGIONAL

Armed with statistics about the increased buying power of blacks, NationsBank is starting a new business group aimed at capturing those dollars. Page 5

COMMUNITY

A former employee is suing Washington's Adams National Bank, charging wrongful termination and claiming that Adams executives are derailing his efforts to launch a new bank. Page 6

CORPORATE FINANCE

Corporate borrowers' confidence in economic growth had ebbed to a two- year low a month before financial markets nosedived, a survey found. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

An unusual level of stock market volatility has not stopped banking companies in New Jersey and Alabama from expanding their equity fund offerings. Page 8

WASHINGTON

With financial reform legislation poised to head to the full Senate, banking trade groups are giving mixed signals on whether they support the bill. Page 2

Fed Governor Edward Gramlich, responding to Asian and Russian financial crises, advocated limited controls on the free flow of international capital. "There may be occasional instances where some restrictions are necessary to control extreme capital flows not justified by economicfundamentals," he says. Page 3

MORTGAGES

HOME EQUITY: FirstPlus Financial Group says it has identified a person trading in its stock who has usedInternet message boards to drive down the price. Page 10

DIGITAL FRONTIERS

SMART CARDS: Warts and all, the Smart Card Forum tried valiantly again at its annual meeting to bring some sense and order to an increasingly frustrating struggle for market acceptance. Page 11

CARDS

Advanta, which left the retail credit card business with fanfare this year by selling its portfolio to Fleet Financial Group, is springing back to life-in business cards. Page 12

An economic forecasting firm sees a tapering off of growth in consumer bankruptcy filings-but a massive resurgence by 2002. Page 12

TECHNOLOGY

England's Nationwide Building Society is pilot testing an ATM from NCR Corp. that identifiescustomers by scanning their irises. Page 14

A two-year-old Silicon Valley company has signed up six financial institutions and has six in trials of its software for secure Internet- based networks. Page 15

MARKETS

The OTS approved two major thrift deals: Washington Mutual's bid to buy H.F. Ahmanson and Astoria Financial's to buy Long Island Bancorp. Back page

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