Bankers and Republican lawmakers reacted favorably to changes the latest financial reform bill would make to the Community Reinvestment Act, though activists blasted the proposal. Page 2


Silicon Valley Bancshares hired an executive from CIBC Oppenheimer to head its nascent corporate finance unit. Page 3


Investors showed more interest in bond funds and the demand for equity mutual funds slackened as the curtain fell on a volatile 1998, executives at banks and mutual fund companies said. Page 8

Even small mistakes can cost banks millions, and incipient problems are often known to brokerage line employees but not to management, so a service is being offered to tap the troops' knowledge. Page 8


An activist investment group is once again pushing for the sale of Norfolk, Va.-based Cenit Bancorp. Jerry Shearer, managing partner of Mid- Atlantic Investors in Columbia, S.C., says the group is urging Cenit to sell because it has failed to "succeed in its principal line of business"- taking deposits. Page 5


Transmedia Network is scrapping plans to buy a credit card marketing firm run by Stephen J. Halmos, co-founder of the defunct SafeCard Services. Page 12

Some credit card issuers are taking new steps to fight customer attrition and put an end to excessive rate-hopping. Page 13


Fleet, Fannie Mae, and Ford Motor Credit led bond sales totaling $6.7 billion. And General Motors Acceptance Corp. plans to sell $2 billion of global bonds as early as today. Page 26

FINANCIAL SERVICES stocks surged amid an explosive rally in the general market. Credit card companies were among the leaders, buoyed by signs that credit quality is improving. Back page

Chase Manhattan said it will begin surcharging noncustomers at its automated teller machines beginning Saturday. Back page


BankAmerica plans to develop a high-yield debt business in London. Page 16

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