WASHINGTON

The House is expected to vote today on a sweeping bill that would make it tougher for consumers with high disposable incomes to eliminate unsecured debts in bankruptcy. Page 2

While acknowledging that today's lending environment is brutal, the comptroller of the currency said bankers are taking too many risks. Page 4

NATIONAL/GLOBAL

While other Midwest banking companies are inking out-of-market deals, Fifth Third's George Schaefer Jr. says he is happy to stay closer to home. Page 7

Charter One of Ohio said it is buying 14 branches, $400 million of deposits, and $120 million of commercial loans from Chittenden of Burlington, Vt. Page 7

COMMUNITY/REGIONAL

Firstar's deal for Mercantile is unlikely to send customers running, analysts say. But some St. Louis area community banks are gearing up to court them. Page 8

DIGITAL FRONTIERS

SMART CARDS: American Express must have done a lot right with its proposed standard for the travel and entertainment industry, judging by the reaction of its competitors. Page 16

TECHNOLOGY

KeyCorp is aiming to retain on-line customers by improving service, and has invested in software to gauge how it is doing. Page 18

Societe Generale is using an Internet-based service in a bid to become the world leader in clearing euro transactions. Page 19

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Traffic is building at banking companies' on-line brokerages, but executives say they have no plans to take on the likes of E-Trade and DLJdirect. Page 20

Fidelity Investments and American Express are teaming up to offer cards linked to Fidelity asset management accounts. Page 20

MARKETS

Goldman Sachs shares made a strong debut on the New York Stock Exchange on a day when most bank and financial stocks sagged. Back page

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