REGIONAL BANKING: CALIFORNIA's big thrifts may soon be the targets of a takeover wave, according to analysts who follow the market. Page 5 IN A BID to get more checking accounts, a big California thrift has adopted a strategy that many bankers shy away from: it is directly attacking its rivals in advertising. Page 5 SMALL BUSINESS: TAKING A CUE from singer Paul Simon, small business owners from Texas and the four bordering states gathered in Dallas last week to come up with 50 ways to improve their business environments. And only a few suggestions involved banks. Page 6 AFTER YEARS of taking advantage of the secondary market for SBA loans, Bank of Commerce in San Diego has started to reap the rewards of holding them for the interest income. Page 6 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: U.S. SALES of mutual funds took a slight dip in March, following two strong months that helped wiped away the stain of 1994. But some bankers and executives of companies that sell their funds through banks claim they didn't feel the lull. Page 8 COMMUNITY BANKING: NATIONAR's creditors could still face a loss of almost $30 million once New York regulators finish selling the failed check-clearing company's businesses and evaluate all claims, according to a financial report from the state banking department. Page 10 MORTGAGES: THE FINANCIAL woes besetting the New York metropolitan area have clearly extended to the housing market and mortgage lending, prolonging a slump that began in the late 1980s. Page 12 EXECUTIVES of the big California thrifts say they may shift from the popular 11th District Cost-of-Funds Index in setting the rates on their home loans. Page 13 TECHNOLOGY: THE NATIONAL Automated Clearing House Association's first Electronic Check Council meeting made a strong case for an electronic check presentment network, but left in question how it would be constructed and who would be the key players. Page 14 THE FEDERAL Home Loan Bank of Topeka, Kan., is installing a system that will let clients of its check processing services deliver image-based statements to their customers. Page 14 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: FIRST DATA CORP. has once again raided the bank card community to fill a key executive post. Page 17
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