WASHINGTON

A PROPOSAL by three Republican leaders to draft a compromise financial reform bill met strong objections from Democrats who called it partisan and unfair. Page 2

NATIONAL/GLOBAL

SOME of the biggest investment and commercial banks are taking stakes in companies that run electronic transaction systems, which match buy and bid orders for brokerages. Page 3

COMMUNITY/REGIONAL

BANK TRADE GROUPS are fuming over a proposal that they say would unfairly broaden the authority of the rival Farm Credit System. Page 8

THE SMALL Business Administration is counting on the Internet to change community bankers' views about international trade. Page 8

CARDS

THE CONVENIENCE and reliability of ATMs could be extended to millions who do not have bank accounts with a new check-cashing machine from a San Francisco company. Page 12

RICHARD GARMAN did what he set out to do as president and chief executive of Electronic Payment Services: make his job obsolete. He left seven months after EPS was bought by another transaction processor and will join former colleagues at a venture capital firm. Page 13

ON-LINE BANKING

THE HEAD of the American Express Membership Banking service says his Internet-only bank competitors' business models are unsustainable. Page 10

BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA and Microsoft Canada are building a cobranded financial services Internet portal intended to give a boost to electronic commerce in Canada. Page 10

TECHNOLOGY

THE DATA SECURITY company Xcert has added two technology suppliers to an already imposing list of strategic allies. Page 11

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

WITH seven broker-dealer acquisitions completed in six years and with another one pending, Toronto-Dominion Bank is still not ready to put away its checkbook. Page 14

A PENNSYLVANIA insurance service provider to banks and other institutions has dismissed 17 employees, including the head of its bank marketing unit. Page 14

MARKETS

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