COMMUNITY BANKING: ONE VALLEY Bank of Charleston, W.Va., is trying to stake a claim to the big-bank-dominated securities business by establishing a broker-dealer subsidiary. Page 16 GREAT COUNTRY Bank says it is discussing a "written proposal" from one of several "parties" that have contacted the capital-short institution. Page 17 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: VISA INTERNATIONAL said it is automating the borderline calls known as referrals in the transaction authorization area. And in its Plus ATM network, Visa said it now can deliver cardholder balance information to machines anywhere in the world. Page 19 MORTGAGES: AIDA ALVAREZ, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said her agency will monitor loans approved by their competing automated underwriting systems. If measurable differences in performance are found, she indicated, more capital may be requested. Page 20 COUNTRYWIDE Credit Industries dodged a $100 million bullet in its fiscal first quarter. A new accounting rule required it to write down its servicing rights portfolio by $106.7 million, but a hedging strategy adopted at the beginning of the quarter showed gains of $117 million. Page 21 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: DESPITE UNCERTAINTY accompanying its purchase by Norwest, officials at State National Bank of El Paso say the deal can only strengthen their hand as they try to compete for trust customers. Page 23 TECHNOLOGY: OXXFORD INFORMATION Technology has developed a Community Reinvestment Act compliance service that is also a marketing and analysis tool for investigating and profiling companies as potential small-business borrowers. Page 24 FINANCE: DERIVATIVES transaction volume soared last year, a new report shows, suggesting further opportunities for banks that trade such instruments. But the report also showed that customers are migrating into plain, less costly instruments. Back page A MAJOR BOND RALLY sparked by surprisingly favorable inflation news carried many bank stocks into record high territory, after a four-day slump. Back page
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