FIRST UNION abandoned the national card business by selling part of its portfolio to Providian. But card chief David Nole says it sees vast growth potential in its own backyard-the millions of its customers who don't yet have a First Union card account. Page 7


The Fed proposed a long-awaited rule to help banks spot illegal activity by customers. Page 2


BankAmerica named its board of directors, taking 11 members from NationsBank and nine from the old BankAmerica of San Francisco. Page 3


The Texas Bankers Association and theIndependent Bankers Association of Texas are debating whether they should merge. Page 4

Even with crop prices at an all-time low, farm lenders say an overall strong harvest expected this year and the preparedness of banks should keep the industry afloat. Page 4


Richard B. Lieb, a 22-year veteran of SEIInvestments, says banks' level of sophistication has dramatically increased in the mutual fund business. Page 5


The thrift industry stands to gain from the Fed's recent reduction of short-term interest rates,analysts say, but the continuing decline in longer-term rates remains a problem. Page 6

Westcorp is leaving the mortgage servicingbusiness. Its Western Financial Bank announced the pending sale of a $4 billion portfolio of mortgageservicing rights. Page 6



AS share prices sag, bankers are changing theway they account for mergers in order to resurrect their companies' stock buyback programs. Page 18

Bank stocks continued their slide as investors fretted over weaker earnings and fresh reminders of the relationship between banks and hedge funds. Back page

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