The uncertainty vexing world markets is driving up demand for economists-and changing their role within banks. Page 2

Federal banking regulators are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to temper its campaign against high loan-loss reserves. Page 2


Agricultural banks are catching on to a once-obscure government bond program that makes it easier to lend to young farmers. Page 6


INSURANCE: Another top executive-Marcy Holowiak of Citizens Bank of Rhode Island-has left a just-developing bank insurance program. Page 7

New Hampshire is weighing rules that could make it one of the toughest places in the country for banks to sell insurance. Page 8


Investors have been jumping back into the mortgage securities market despite continued concerns about prepayment risk. Page 10


Over the last two to three years, bigger banks have been pulling their training and development programs in-house. These banks want to make sure that they get their money's worth out of the training, experts say. Page 3

A year after the former Citicorp announced a sweeping restructuring program, it has not yet cut half of the 7,500 jobs it had targeted. Page 4


State Street, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Union Bank of California are the latest big banks to develop cash management services that use browser technology. Page 16



Fleet's agreement to buy $1.3 billion of credit card receivables from Household International is only thelatest indication of its national aspirations. Page 19


One of the year's most talked about syndicated loans is back in the spotlight after Meditrust, a Massachusetts REIT, announced a restructuring and disappointing third-quarter results. Page 29


THE FED gave PNC Bank's section 20 unit permission to underwrite commercial securities. Page 30

Analysts remain puzzled about the earnings prospects of Union Planters as it works to digest its many recent acquisitions. Back page

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