1994 EARNINGS rose 8.8% at the nation's largest bank holding companies, reaching $33.4 billion, according to an American Banker survey. But bad plays on interest rates hurt some big banks. Page 6 MORTGAGES: ISSUANCE of home equity securities hit $10 billion last year, signaling that securitization of home equity loans has come of age, says Len Blum, managing director of Prudential Securities' mortgage and asset finance group. Page 14 COUNTRYWIDE Credit Industries' growth strategy, as its earnings slump in a shrinking market, has been to fatten its servicing portfolio and reduce production and central office staff by 40%. Page 15 COMMUNITY BANKING: SOME BANKERS embrace prospective repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act wholeheartedly, with an eye toward profit opportunities. Others, particularly rural bankers, don't expect repeal to help them in any way. Page 16 EATON VANCE, a $456 million-asset mutual fund manager, is exploring a spinoff to shareholders of its 77.3% stake in Investors Bank and Trust Co. A little-known 1987 federal law is driving the potential deal. Page 17 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: OVERREACTION characterizes regulatory efforts to police mutual fund sales and advertising practices at banks, a panel of securities industry executives told a mutual fund and investment management conference. Page 18 BANKS GAINING on nonbanks in the race for top-notch returns as portfolio managers for institutional investors? A leading pension consulting firm has found such gains in a recent comparison of banks' performance against that of their nonbank rivals. Page 19 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: ONE CHALLENGE facing lenders who want to make loans that count toward CRA requirements is finding information on borrowers with limited credit histories. The three major credit bureaus are examining how to develop such data. Page 20 NATIONAL CITY Processing, the second-largest transaction processor in the country, is bolstering its management team in response to an expanding electronic payments industry. Page 21 TECHNOLOGY: SHAWMUT MORTGAGE Co., as part of a reengineering project targeting originations, has equipped its loan officers with laptop computers for processing loans at customer sites. Page 23 FINANCE: THE FDIC may have unleashed a wave of mergers and acquisitions with the large impending disparity between deposit insurance premiums charged banks and thrifts. Some large thrifts are buying or planning to buy small thrifts or banks insured by the Bank Insurance Fund. Back page INVESTORS SHRUGGED as J.P. Morgan & Co. announcement that it would take a $55 million first-quarter charge to pay for employment severance packages. Back page
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