WASHINGTON: THE JUSTICE Department wants to drop thrift deposits from the antitrust test it uses to screen proposed bank mergers. The move would increase the likelihood that a merger could violate the agency's preliminary antitrust review. Page 2 MAJOR REGULATORY relief legislation is expected to be introduced soon by key members of the House and Senate banking committees. Page 3 REGIONAL BANKING: BANK OF NEW YORK has opened its first fund management services company abroad. The new unit is in Dublin, where several other U.S. banks have similar operations. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING: BESS ALPAUGH, a kinetic community banker from suburban Seattle, where she is president of American Marine Bank, will be elected president of the Western Independent Bankers next week at its annual convention. The trade group represents 250 independent banks throughout the West. Page 6 SMALLTOWN KENTUCKY banks that don't want competitors as their correspondents are turning to Kentucky Independent Bank. In the past year, the Frankfort-based bankers' bank has increased its customer roster by 37%, to 99 banks. Page 6 MORTGAGES: ACCUBANC Mortgage Corp., Dallas, has completed the acquisition of Medallion Mortgage Co. and says it retains "a strong appetite for continued growth." The Medallion deal gives it a higher profile on the West Coast. Page 8 MARCH WILL BE BUSY in terms of securitizing home equity and credit-impaired loans, rating agency executives expect. The greater activity will be welcome after an unusually slow January and February. Page 8 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: THE FOURTH QUARTER was relatively calm for the niche companies that help banks administer and distribute mutual funds. But some believe that this was merely the prelude to a storm of change. Page 10 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: ENTITIES AS DIVERSE as Chrysler Corp., Kraft Foods, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission came to monitor the competition, or to jump-start their own programs, and bankers were heavily outnumbered at last week's cobranding conference in Atlanta. Page 12 U S WEST's marketing research group is mailing a new electronic shopping card offering promotions, discounts, and savings to more than 285,000 Denver residents. Page 13 TECHNOLOGY: TIMOTHY BIRK was named president and chief executive officer of Electronic Transaction Corp., operator of the nation's largest check-loss prevention program. He succeeds Denis DuNann, a co-founder of the company, who quit Feb. 1 to pursue other entrepreneurial activities. Page 15 FINANCE: CHASE MANHATTAN and First Union joined forces and unexpectedly won the mandate to lead a $1.1 billion loan for Conseco Inc. The $10.8 billion insurance powerhouse will use an estimated $728 million to buy the remaining outstanding shares of two affiliated companies. The rest of the loan will refinance outstanding debt and supply working capital. Back page INSIDERS at regional banks continued their aggressive stock buying in January, prompted by the sector's low equity prices and merger speculation. The hottest banks for insiders were Trustmark and Integra Financial. Back page
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