The new BankAmerica is facing at least 16 shareholder lawsuits alleging a failure to disclose the extent of its recent losses. Page 6

Chief executives of two combining institutions invariably share the limelight at merger announcements and talk amicably about a division of responsibilities. But it usually does not work out that way. Page 8


INSURANCE: A big turn-out in the Big Easy for the fall conference of the Financial Institutions Insurance Association underscored the banking industry's growing commitment to selling these products. Page 10

Two key executives resigned from BankBoston's insurance and investment products businesses, the company confirmed. Page 10


Fee income helped Western thrifts meet earnings expectations in the third quarter despite a difficult interest rate environment. Page 13


As many as 333 banks and thrifts could be forced to pay more for deposit insurance because of management problems. The FDIC is "looking at whether there are any banks or thrifts ... that might warrant a rise or increase in their premiums based on their banking practices," Chairman Donna A. Tanoue said. Page 2


One of Poland's largest banks has introduced an Internet service with a security feature not yet prevalent in the U.S. consumer market. Page 18


ELECTRONIC COMMERCE: First Union said it will test Internet-based bill delivery and payment with Transpoint, the joint venture of First Data, Microsoft, and Citibank. Page 19


Seven major banks in France have rallied around Visa and its Open Platform smart card strategy. Page 21


Republic Security has completed its $279 million deal for First Palm Beach Bancorp, making it the largest commercial bank based in Florida. Page 22

Investors spooked by recent market gyrations will turn to community banks as a safe haven, an analyst predicted. Page 22


Bank stocks rallied on investors' confidence that Brazil's economic woes are being addressed and that another cut in U.S. interest rates could be just two weeks away. Back page

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