MORTGAGES: R. FREDERICK TAYLOR believes he has made it fun again to work at Huntington Mortgage while, as its new president and chief executive, he has greatly reduced the company's ambitions after originations plunged 64% last year. Page 10 WASHINGTON: THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency released new rules making it safer for banks to lend money to people who buy contaminated properties. The rules exempt these owners from liability for pollution that seeped into their land through underground aquifers. Page 2 THE FARM CREDIT System should open membership to agriculture-oriented commercial banks, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of America have recommended to Congress. Page 3 REGIONAL BANKING: GLENDALE FEDERAL said it has a deal to buy the lion's share of deposits and performing loans held by Union Federal Bank, a troubled California thrift. And Sumitomo Bank of California announced plans to sell $500 million of bad loans and foreclosed real estate, leading to a loss of $150 million this quarter. Page 4 PROFITABILITY declined in the first quarter at most of the 10 biggest U.S. banking companies, and large second-tier regional banks posted mixed results, according to American Banker's latest quarterly survey. Page 5 COMMUNITY BANKING: EDWIN F. HALE, the combative former chairman and chief executive of Baltimore Bancorp, received regulatory approval for his newly acquired thrift company, First Mariner, to start doing business as a state-chartered commercial bank. Page 8 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: PNC BROKERAGE Corp. under Joel Calvo must find ways to wring more productivity out of the current staff of brokers because the bank unit has abandoned its plan to add 400 brokers to its sales staff of 220. Page 12 SEI WILL SELL some of its investment consulting services in an effort to concentrate on its core businesses of asset management and bank trust and technology services. Officials also said the move was hastened by concerns about a conflict of interest. Page 13 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: FIRST INTERSTATE Bank of Los Angeles promoted Miles R. Adam to be the new credit card chief, charged with expanding the bank's presence in the lucrative field. CONSENSUS ELUDES the industry regarding how to report data on secured credit cards. Most issuers say consumers won't find the cards appealing if their secured status must be highlighted in reports to credit bureaus. Page 15 TECHNOLOGY: NATIONAL WESTMINSTER Home Loans, a mortgage company based in the United Kingdom, has installed a $790,000 Unisys computer network. The project is expected to support the unit's rapid expansion while improving customer service. Page 18 FINANCE: SHORT INTEREST in shares of U.S. Bancorp. shot up 137% in the month ended May 15, after its agreement to buy West One. The rise probably reflects acquisition-related arbitrage activity, but the deal has also come under heavy fire from an analyst. Back page
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