REGIONAL BANKING: ROGER FITZSIMONDS, chairman of Firstar Corp., sent a letter to employees outlining an 18-month restructuring that will mean job changes and cuts. He said Firstar is hiring a consulting firm to lead the effort. Page 4 WASHINGTON: HOUSE BANKING Committee Chairman Jim Leach asked industry groups and the Federal Reserve to draft legislative language that would prohibit new insurance powers for national banks. Page 2 THE JUSTICE Department's recent settlement of a loan bias complaint against Northern Trust strikes industry observers as far more palatable than last summer's Chevy Chase Federal Savings and Loan settlement. Page 3 COMMUNITY BANKING: FALLOUT from the 1980s thrift debacle continued as the Justice Department indicted two former executives of small, now-defunct savings and loans. More than six years after their Illinois and Texas institutions failed, the executives were accused of frauds that allegedly cost their thrifts hundreds of thousands of dollars. Page 6 SOMETHING is happening in West Virginia that has occurred only once in the past 13 years there - a new bank is opening. And at least three more are on the way. Page 7 MORTGAGES: HOME BUILDING should decline 8% this year, according to a research publication from Lomas Mortgage USA, despite the drop in mortgage rates. Page 8 NATWEST HOME Mortgage, a subsidiary of National Westminster Bank, has agreed to acquire certain assets of Union Financial Corp. that will extend its reach into the Middle Atlantic states. Page 8 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: BARNETT BANKS, taking advantage of organizational uncertainty at Fleet Financial Group, has snared Fleet's top investment products executive, Richard H. Jones, to be its chief asset management executive. Page 10 FIRST INTERSTATE Bank has beefed up its trust and private client sales staff with the hirings of four vice presidents, three from its competitor Wells Fargo & Co. The hirings are part of an effort to recapture market share among affluent households. Page 11 TECHNOLOGY: CREDIT INDUSTRIEL et Commercial de Paris is testing a device designed to make telephone-based banking transactions more secure. The small plastic disk emits an encrypted signal during a phone transaction that augments the personal identification number for identifying the caller. Page 15
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