Possibly marking an adverse trend, commercial bank earnings fell 1%, to $14.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the FDIC said. Page 2

International banking supervisors are considering raising capital requirements on loans to developing countries and hedge funds, a Fed official said. Page 4


INSURANCE: BankBoston is offering health insurance to small-business customers to bolster relationships. Page 8

Community First Bankshares of Fargo, N.D., formed an alliance with Jackson National Life to sell annuities. Page 8


If the Independent Bankers Association of America had a poster boy, he could well be Robert Barsness, the Minnesota banker who is to be elected its president this week. He says the IBAA opposes any effort in the reform bill to let nonfinancial companies own banks. "That's just bad public policy." Page 10


The popularity of Internet shopping, merchant loyalty programs, and commercial cards is adding new complexity to the merchant-acquiring business, said the CEO of Vital Processing Services. Page 9


The Federal Home Loan banks' challenge to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved forward with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta joining the banks' alternative secondary market program. Page 12

First Tennessee National is trying out a new name for its mortgage empire. Page 13


Bank of America plans to use cell phones, pagers, and PalmPilots to enhance communication with corporate customers. Page 16


A race is on to bring high-yield bond trading to the Internet. Trading Edge said it plans to start up its system for trading the securities on April 15-about two weeks after Limitrader plans to begin a test run. Page 17


Freddie Mac unveiled its version of a controversial lower-cost mortgage insurance option for low-downpayment loans. Back page

Despite recent speculation, St. Louis-based Mercantile may not be ready to sell just yet. Back page

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