banks' six straight quarters of record earnings are about to end. Six large banks have disclosed more than $1.2 billion in pretax third-quarter losses, and more bad news is expected. Page 2


Alfred R. Camner, chairman of BankUnited Financial, is a careful man, and the $3.5 billion-asset thrift he founded 14 years ago in Florida reflects it. Page 5


Super community banks are under takeover pressure as it becomes harder to meet investors' profit expectations. But the situation is not hopeless, say some bankers who have emphasized fee businesses. Page 7


Dreyfus agreed to use software from Innovision to provide account information to customers. Page 9


Bank of New York announced that its BNY Capital Markets subsidiary has signed an agreement to buy Patricof & Co. Capital Corp. Page 10


U.S. consumers are piling up record mortgage debt, and lenders said no slowdown is in sight. They expect interest rates to continue to fall and home prices to rise. Page 11


SMART CARDS: IBM said it launched a joint initiative with the Danish payments company PBS to provide digital certificate and payment gateway services in Europe. Page 12


Phoenix Planning and Evaluation, an influential consultancy in smart cards and electronic benefits transfer systems, has been acquired by the government services firm Maximus Inc. of McLean, Va. Page 13


The worldwide shortage of information technology talent, expected to last for years and affect all skill levels, has hit the banking industry hard. In response, institutions are plotting new recruitment and retention strategies. Page 16


A tougher market may help Commerce Bancorp in New Jersey stand out from the regional bank crowd, analysts say. Page 26

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