MORTGAGES: CHARLES RINEHART, who succeeded Richard H. Deihl in 1993 as chief executive of H.F. Ahmanson & Co. was given the additional title of chairman after Mr. Deihl announced his retirement. Page 18 WASHINGTON: ALFONSE D'AMATO, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, hasn't forgotten his long battle to deny Ricki Tigert Helfer the chairmanship of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He recently chided thrift executives for their strong support of her last year. Page 2 SUSAN M. PHILLIPS, a Federal Reserve Board governor, says improved productivity, high levels of savings and investment, and price stability - toward which the nation has made progress - will lead to long-term economic growth. Page 3 REGIONAL BANKING: NEW ENGLAND's economy is improving, but William Reghitto, State Street Boston Corp.'s new executive vice president of commercial banking services, admits he has his work cut out for him in view of "fierce" competition for loan business. Page 4 MERCURY FINANCE Co., the country's largest sub-prime auto lender, settled a potentially expensive court case in Alabama, apparently for less than $1 million. A jury had returned a $50 million judgment against the company last July, later reduced to $2 million. Page 4 SMALL BUSINESS: BANKERS MAY FRET that the traditional branch is dying, but a new survey by the Consumer Bankers Association reveals that bricks and mortar remain vital to the success of a growing customer segment: small businesses. Page 9 INCREASING DEMAND by small businesses for fee-income-producing cash management services ranging from lockbox and account balance information to higher-yielding sweep accounts threaten to drain the profits from margin- rich demand deposit accounts, bankers fear. Page 10 COMMUNITY BANKING: MERGERS between community banks hit a record pace in 1994, with more small banks tying their futures to other small banks instead of the large regionals. Page 12 THE WEEK AFTER First Bank System agreed to sell 63 of its small-town branches, participants in what is believed to be the first large-scale, consortium-based purchase of private branches say they are pleased. Page 13 CREDIT UNIONS: THE DEPOSIT DRAIN at ailing Capital Corporate Federal Credit Union had slowed to a trickle by Friday, five days after the government lifted a freeze on withdrawals, and the National Credit Union Administration pronounced itself "pleased." Page 16 CUNA MUTUAL GROUP, the dominant insurance provider for U.S. credit unions, has hired Michael Kitchen, president of the Toronto-based Cumis Group of Canada, to be its president and chief executive officer. Page 17 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: FIRST BANK SYSTEM is testing a corporate credit card meant to eliminate many of the financial hassles people face when their jobs require them to relocate. Page 21 SAFECARD SERVICES, continuing its restructuring and expansion efforts, has promoted Robert M. Frechette to president and chief executive officer of its core credit card registration business. Page 22 TECHNOLOGY: FISERV INC. is in talks to acquire Nationar, a New York-based trust company and check processor that was seized by the state's Banking Department last week. Page 24 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: JUST AS BANKS were getting used to having mutual fund business drop in their laps, they're suddenly having to run after it because volatile markets and rising interest rates have made mutual funds less attractive. Page 5A FINANCE: FIGURING OUT why they agreed to merge their institutions, Pacific Bank of San Francisco and Western Bank of Coos Bay, Ore., is the task now facing their chief executives, one of whom mused, "Some place there have to be synergies, and we will look for them." Back page
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