Fed Governor Laurence H. Meyer urged the government to remove impediments to bank and cross-industry mergers. Page 2



INSURANCE: Old Kent Financial is vying to be one of the success stories in bank insurance. Page 7

Property/casualty agencies and underwriters can expect their troubles to carry over into the new year, says an economist with the Insurance Information Institute. Page 9


A group of minority-owned community banks is teaming up to offer a $75 million line of credit to a large oil refinery company. Page 10

The decision of Republic Bancshares of Florida to shutter its troubled mortgage banking unit and eliminate 340 jobs can be traced to turmoil in the financial markets. Page 11


Equifax CEO Thomas F. Chapman envisions a future in which people can buy credit reports in retail stores. That is happening in Chile, through a unit of Equifax, which owns the largest U.S. credit bureau operation. Mr. Chapman wants to copy the Chilean venture here. "It would demystify" credit reports, he says. Page 16

IFS International, a transaction software company in Troy, N.Y., elected a bank automation veteran chairman of the board. Page 17


The subprime lender BNC Mortgage agreed to acquire America's Lender, an on-line wholesale lender, for an undisclosed price. Page 13


ELECTRONIC COMMERCE: American Management Systems' perspectives on electronic commerce, which it developed as a consultant to numerous industries, are now available for sharing. Page 18


RSA Data Security is taking another whack at DES, the federal Data Encryption Standard that banks often use to secure funds-transfer messages. Page 19


Money for new construction-especially for hotels-will become increasingly difficult to come by in 1999, industry experts say, even as most sectors of the real estate market remain stable. Page 29


When it comes to selling T R Financial, chairman John M. Tsimbinos is proving to be a hard bargainer whose mien is strictly business. Back page

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