SPECIAL REPORT: AMERICAN BANKER takes the pulse of the merger market on the eve of full interstate banking. M&A Roundup, a 28-page supplement, lists the top deals, ranks the dealmakers and advisers, and evaluates market conditions for bank consolidation in the year ahead. WASHINGTON: A PENDING RULE, combined with a recent Supreme Court decision, has given banks ammunition for exploring new product and service frontiers. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING: BAYBANKS INC., Boston, posted $107.4 million in earnings for all of 1994, a whopping 58% increase. Page 8 FIRST AMERICAN Corp., Nashville, said fourth-quarter profits were down 18%, though core profitability actually improved. Page 8 COMMUNITY BANKING: THREE NEW YORK banks that were nearly crushed by the nation's real estate recession are coming back to life. Page 20 WEEKLY DIGEST A REVIEW of the past week in the American Banker, including a look at how fourth-quarter earnings reports have hurt bank stocks. Also, what's on tap for this week. Page 18 CREDIT UNIONS: THE NATIONAL Credit Union Administration's fears over corporate credit union investments have quieted. Page 14 THE ABA and the Independent Bankers Association are presenting a united front to push a measure that would tax credit unions and subject them to the Community Reinvestment Act. Page 15 MORTGAGES: RYLAND GROUP, Columbia, Md., is paring down its involvement in mortgages and focusing on its core business of building. Page 12 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NASD'S plan to regulate bank broker-dealers isn't as restrictive as most bankers seem to think, according to a top official. Page 17 U.S. TRUST Corp. has agreed to buy out the individual investment account business of J.& W. Seligman & Co., a prominent New York money manager. Page 16 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: MASTERCARD'S members will be watching closely to see how chief executive officer H. Eugene Lockhart moves to fill the vacancy at the top of his U.S. regional organization. Page 24 USAA Federal Savings Bank, moving ahead with its remote, or "branchless," banking strategy, has joined MasterCard International's home banking program. Page 26 TECHNOLOGY: AN IBM UNIT announced that it has agreed to use banking software from Jack Henry & Associates Inc. in outsourcing arrangements with financial institutions. Page 10 FINANCE: INFLATION is in the eye of the beholder. Some economists feel the recent period of notable price and wage stability is ending, while others say global changes promise to check inflation for the foreseeable future. Page 32
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