The Justice Department's challenge to membership practices at Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International is likely to degenerate into a knock- down-drag-out fight. Page 3


Compass Bancshares of Birmingham, Ala., is revamping its retail business, taking cues from the old BankAmerica organization. Page 4


Bank trade groups presented opening arguments in their appeal to limit the powers of the Farm Credit System. Page 6


Mellon is going after the large-plan 401(k) retirement market with a defined-contribution group that will initially sell its wares to the Dreyfus unit's defined- benefit customers. Page 9


Banks have again demonstrated that there is no single road to success in the mutual fund business. This year's masters-Mellon, First Union, Riggs, Norwest, and Deutsche Bank-are as diverse as they are effective. Also featured are some bright ideas for fund marketing. Pullout section


Towne Services of Norcross, Ga., said its initial public offering cleared the way for it to develop a new market for financing merchant receivables. Page 13


Trading in FirstPlus stock was halted on news that a fund that invests in the company's stock and is partially owned by its CEO had filed for bankruptcy. Page 16


The dreaded R-word is out in the open as more economists suggest that chances of a recession next year are rising. Page 30

banks and thrifts made solid gains Friday in a rally that carried over to broad markets. Back page

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