DURING THE worst year for the thrift industry since the early 1990s, no company is suffering more than Bank Plus Corp. Page 4


The Sacramento, Calif., area has emerged as a hotbed for start-up banks, thanks to consolidation and the eastward movement of high-tech companies. Page 7


After the sharp drop in interest rates since August, mortgage lending volume is expected to surge-and so is mortgage fraud. Page 11


Investors have been cashing out of Franklin Templeton Group's mutual funds because 40% of its assets are in international funds-a market segment particularly hard-hit over the past year. Page 12


ATM operators are optimistic that a government-sponsored information campaign will make consumers comfortable with the redesigned $20 bill. Page 14


John D. Hawke Jr. received bipartisan support at his confirmation hearing, but concerns over his support of the Community Reinvestment Act could delay a final vote on his nomination as comptroller of the currency. Mr. Hawke pledged to crack down on lending standards. Page 3

Citing increased demand from lenders, the government expanded a controversial mortgage program that is offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Page 2


ON-LINE BANKING: American Express is proving that an electronic billing system can generate traffic at a Web site. Page 16


Information systems at many large North American banks are outdated, putting pressure on technology budgets and staffs and raising risk- management questions, says Computer Sciences. Page 17


A CULTURE CLASH with NationsBank is being blamed for the departure of NationsBanc Montgomery Securities' CEO and a senior managing director. Page 29

To bolster its capital markets business, First Security of Salt Lake City said it would buy Van Kasper & Co., a San Francisco investment bank, for $100 million in cash and stock. Page 29


Problems with overseas exposure are increasing at large U.S. banks, and Latin American exposure is a particular threat, a bank rating service said. Page 8

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