A former chief executive says a Pittsburgh banking company fired him for trying to eliminate racial and sex discrimination. Page 8


Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group threw its hat into the on-line ring by launching an Internet company that will retail stocks that it underwrites. Page 10

Chase Insurance Agency's chief operating officer formally took the unit's reins. Page 11


At the MBA's secondary-market conference, a hot topic will be newly released risk-based capital standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Page 12

Houston is more than an oil town these days, but an oil company merger is being blamed for knocking it off the list of the hottest home-lending markets. Page 13


Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert said it is "realistic" to expect both chambers to adopt their financial reform bills and settle on compromise legislation by August. The bill "is going to get done," he said at the annual legislative conference of the Independent Insurance Agents of America. Page 2

Congressional and White House aides agreed that bankruptcy reform is needed-and politically popular. Page 4


A 2-for-1 stock split by Security First Technologies appears to validate the company's decision to sell off the Internet bank that it used to launch its software business. Page 14


Internet-based corporate procurement systems are threatening electronic data interchange, Interna-tional Data Corp. says. Page 15


Meridian Enterprises, Chase, and Shell Oil have settled a patent dispute relating to rebate programs, ending a five-year battle. Page 16


Compass Bancshares of Alabama reported strong first-quarter results last week, but that will probably not dispel the merger talk. Page 25

Regions Financial of Alabama said first-quarter profits jumped 17% thanks to economic strength in its market and a multistate expansion campaign. Page 30

Union Planters shares fell sharply after a disappointing first-quarter report. Back page

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