AN ECONOMIST has suggested a compromise alternative to a White House privacy proposal that could handcuff bank marketing practices. Page 2

Industry officials and activists are squaring off over provisions in the House financial reform bill that would require public hearings for most big bank mergers. Page 2


Zions Bancorp. of Salt Lake City has a $341 million stock deal to buy $1 billion-asset Pioneerof Las Vegas, which would give it a base for small- business lending in Nevada. Page 5

HSBC said it could divest as many as 20 branches in New York City as part of its $10.3 billion acquisition of Republic New York. Page 7


New Jersey's Hudson United is banking on modern furnishings, self- service kiosks, and magazine reading areas to draw customers to its branches. Page 8


days after a Boston community group threatened to sue Associates First, charging predatory lending, the lender announced a low-rate loan and pledged $100 million toward the group's programs. The deal was hammered out by Associates CEO Keith Hughes and Bruce Marks of the community group. Page 30

On the heels of its successful initial public offering of stock, Goldman Sachs is finding strong demand for its debt as well. Back page

Two corporate loans worth $11.5 billion in all have been meeting resistance in the early stages of syndication. Page 30


INSURANCE: A Pennsylvania bank is diving into insurance sales by creating a title insurance agency in partnership with a local underwriter. Page 10

Strong Funds has announced an essay contest to get grade-schoolers thinking about saving for their retirement. Page 11


Fannie Mae gave details of its new focus on the borrower, saying it will tailor products to the needs of its changing customer base. Page 14


A leading processor of card payments in Germany has turned to Xcert International of the United States for the technology to safeguard digital signatures on credit cards and on-line transactions. Page 15

Creditrust, which buys delinquent credit card debt from banks, has begun offering credit cards of its own, looking for customers among its lists of delinquent payers. Page 15

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