Year-2000 problems will not cause any bank or thrift to fail, according to an FDIC forecast. Page 2

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt unveiled a tool that lets consumers compare the costs of competing mutual funds. Page 5


Junk bond underwriters affiliated with U.S. banks led 32% of new issues in the first quarter, about the same as a year earlier. Page 6

Goldman Sachs is fueling a debate over its merger and acquisition strategy by advising and financing United Rentals' hostile bid for a competitor. Page 6


Evansville, Ind., where five local banks control 93% of the deposits, is proving to be a tough market for outsiders. Page 9

A Houston community bank has rejected an unsolicited offer to be bought by Alabama's largest banking company. Page 9


Merrill Lynch analyst Michael R. Hughes held fast to his "buy" recommendations when things looked bleak for credit card company stocks. And the strategy paid off-he ranked No. 1 among card analysts in predicting earnings in American Banker's Wall Street Sharpshooters survey. Page 26

Firstar's shares jumped after Warburg Dillon Read initiated coverage of it with a "buy" rating. Back page


HOME EQUITY: As refinancing volume tapers off, the mortgage industry is experiencing a softer landing than when the last boom ended. Page 10

The Northwest is facing loan defaults well above the national average, according to a study. Page 10


SMART CARDS: Some smart card and information security companies are raising the competitive bar with a new selling point: certification under multinational standards. Page 12


Entering a market many banks deem too risky, at least two bank card issuers-Capital One and Providian-have begun buying charged-off card debt from their peers. Page 13


Executives in the investment sales business see new technologies as both friend and foe, judging from comments at a Fidelity conference. Page 14


Security Dynamics is offering a way to turn millions of hand-held computing devices into digital authentication tools. Page 16

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