WASHINGTON

A White House task force said hedge funds should disclose more financial data, but rejected calls for direct regulation of these highly leveraged institutions. Page 2

The Senate will start debating financial reform Monday, but the bill's prospects are uncertain as compromise continued to prove elusive. Page 2

COMMUNITY/REGIONAL

Hoping to cut costs and boost sales, Amcore Financial announced plans to fuse its nine banking charters into one. Page 7

MORTGAGES

Housing permits will grow 6% this year, making it the busiest construction year since 1986, a housing research journal predicts. Page 8

A Boston firm has developed software to help real estate lenders evaluate loans and in some cases anticipate bank examiners' concerns. Page 9

NATIONAL/GLOBAL

PNC promoted Walter E. Gregg Jr., senior executive vice president, to vice chairman. Observers say the 25-year company veteran is being rewarded for his stewardship of the investment management and securities processing businesses, which have grown substantially. Page 5

Junk bond defaults have soared during the last four months. Page 4

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

First Maryland's corporate realignment plan includes expanding its retail brokerage sales force in Pennsylvania. Page 10

Evergreen Funds is planning to merge seven portfolios, considered too small to remain independent, into existing funds. Page 10

DIGITAL FRONTIERS

Scares about national or corporate secrets getting into the wrong hands could be just what Protect Data Security needs to get noticed. Page 12

TECHNOLOGY

The web could be a mixed blessing for bankers, two consultants write. While retail banking gets the attention, the commercial side is being neglected. Page 13

MARKETS

Bank stocks had another strong showing, fueled by favorable economic news. Back page

Ten European companies have offered to buy stakes in Credit Lyonnais, according to the Frenchgovernment. Back page

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