CATHY MEDICH, executive director of Commercenet, which calls its members to cooperation, says its mission is to serve as "a forum for the emerging Internet industry." The nation's largest banks were among early members of this medium for electronic commerce. Page 14 WASHINGTON: HOUSE BANKING Committee aides worked furiously to redraft a provision in the regulatory relief bill that had alienated bank industry supporters. But the aides said the provision on insurance powers would not be changed substantively. Page 2 THE McCOLLUM thrift-fund rescue bill "is a pretty good first step," says William A. Cooper, chairman of TCF Financial Corp., but its weakness is that it "doesn't combine the bank and thrift insurance funds immediately." Page 3 REGIONAL BANKING: CHEMICAL BANK has appointed three vice chairmen - Michael Hegarty, William H. Turner, and Donald H. Layton - giving it four officers with that title. Analysts said the promotions basically confirmed increased responsibilities recently taken on by the executives. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING: ILLINOIS' SMALL-TOWN banks are grappling with how big they are and how big they should be as the industry consolidates. One estimate is that asset size for viable community banks will fall in the $200 million to $500 million range. Page 7 MORTGAGES: A NEW EQUITY loan product rolled out by Chemical Bank starts at a fixed rate of 9.95%. But homeowners have the option to adjust downward once at no cost, if rates go down. Page 8 THE POTENTIAL refinancing pool is larger than just those who have obtained mortgages since the end of 1993, writes Jon Holm of Holm Mortgage Finance Report. So lenders, servicers, and mortgage-backed security holders should brace themselves for a rash of prepayments. Page 9 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: U.S. TRUST got its day in court and found itself on the defensive over its handling of the estate of tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The hearing in a New York appellate court produced no immediate decision, however. Page 11 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: AMERICAN EXPRESS has launched a business unit that will let customers obtain financial services from any location via computers or telephones. Its commitment to virtual banking was bolstered when it named a former banker, William J. Heron Jr., president of the new unit. Page 12 THE CENTER of Financial Technologies in Russia wants to expand its open smart card system, Zolotaya Korona, so that Russian travelers in the United States can gain access to funds stored on their smart cards. Page 13 FINANCE: SHORT INTEREST in Bank of New York grew 79.7% in the month ended June 15, reflecting arbitrage related to the triggering of warrants issued when the bank bought Irving Bank Corp. in 1988. Short interest in bank stocks as a group grew 5.2%, to 166.3 million shares. Back page
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