WASHINGTON

THE THRIFT INDUSTRY earned a near-record $2.12 billion in the second quarter, but the future is clouded, the OTS reported. Page 2

NATIONAL/GLOBAL

HARRIS launched an initiative to make $12 million in mortgage loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers at rates as low as 5%. Page 5

BANK OF AMERICA has closed $3 billion in bank loans to help Park Place Entertainment buy Caesars World and other gaming assets. Page 5

COMMUNITY/REGIONAL

PEOPLE'S BANK in Connecticut has embarked on an aggressive, $30 million expansion in hopes of capitalizing on customer unrest after Fleet's planned merger with BankBoston. Page 6

A SECOND BOUTIQUE investment firm from Columbus, Ohio, is set to introduce a mutual fund that will primarily buy shares of banks with assets of $500 million to $7 billion. Page 6

MORTGAGES

MORTGAGE VETERAN K. Terrence Wakefield is returning to the business with an Internet venture designed to help lenders retain customers. Through Customers Forever, mortgagers can help good customers refinance when warranted, easily, and with the same lender. Page 12

TECHNOLOGY

A NEW Federal Reserve interim rule could remove some regulatory barriers to the growth of electronic bill payment and presentment. Page 7

ON-LINE BANKING

FIRST UNION has chosen software from Home Account to support Spectrum, the electronic bill payment and presentment joint venture. Page 8

DESPITE FINANCIAL companies' rapid embrace of Internet technologies, electronic commerce remains "conspicuous by its absence" from many of their sites, said Diamond Technology Partners. Page 8

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

CAPITOL FEDERAL of Topeka, Kan., has switched to an in-state annuity and insurance wholesaler to provide investment products to its customers. Page 10

CARDS

MASTERCARD is trying to turn its Web site into a central resource for small businesses, and to deliver value-added services over the Net. Page 14

THE PERFORMANCE of big-bank stocks, undermined by willy-nilly investors in a climate of rising interest rates, gives credence to the much forgotten adage: Buy and hold. Back page

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