administration officials pressed for industry support on financial reform, telling lobbyists the legislation faces certain veto if it weakens the CRA. Page 2

Rep. Marge Roukema is expected to request a postponement on the deadline for banks to adjust to new loan-loss reserve guidelines. Page 2


Progress Financial of Pennsylvania is forming a venture fund to finance start-up companies. It will focus on expansion-minded small businesses in the Middle Atlantic states. Page 5


Merrill Lynch's hiring of a top OppenheimerFunds executive is the latest example of a big brokerage firm taking steps to bolster its proprietary mutual fund business. Page 6

Many traditional financial advisers say the addition of on-line trading to a full-service brokerage as Merrill Lynch is doing is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Page 6


Visa and MasterCard both heralded smart card milestones, both furthering compliance with EMV, a set of common standards. Visa's Malcolm Williamson announced a Smart Path initiative for chip-based cards meant to help banks strengthen relationships and profits. Page 11

The international banking systems company FICS has become a reseller for the Proton smart card organization, and will add the Proton electronic purse to its Internet banking software. Page 11


Three former Wells Fargo bankers with backgrounds in lending and law are now sitting on the other side of the table, taking on some of the risk in real estate projects. Page 8

Home Equity: The rush of asset-backed bond issuance continued with Green Tree Financial and Chase selling a combined $1 billion in mortgage-related debt. Page 9


Creditrust, which buys bad credit card debt at a discount and tries to profit from collecting on it, has hired Rothchild of New York to sell $45 million of its receivables. Page 22

In an otherwise muted market, five bank stocks advanced on positive initial recommendations from a J.P. Morgan analyst. Page 22

Cendant Mortgage of New Jersey has agreed to sell up to $7 billion of mortgage servicing rights to HomeSide Lending over the next five years. Page 22

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