REGIONAL BANKING: TO BOOST SLUGGISH earnings from its Canadian banking operation, Switzerland's Credit Suisse has combined its U.S. and Canadian activities under a single, New York-based management. And it named Christopher Roberts CEO for North America. Page 4 GREAT WESTERN Financial, the country's second-largest thrift, has bolstered its defenses against hostile acquisition attempts by amending - and extending for 10 years - its shareholder rights plan. Page 4 WASHINGTON: REGULATORY RELIEF may never make it to the President's desk, but it has already exposed the House Banking Committee's inner workings. On vote after vote, the Democrats hung together as they rarely had when they were a majority. The party, though, is now primarily a blocking force. Page 3 COMMUNITY BANKING: A MAINE THRIFT is giving $100,000 to community groups in the southern part of the state to attract depositors to four new branches. Page 6 AN APPEALS COURT has upheld the FDIC's decision to terminate the deposit insurance of financially sound Doolin Security Savings Bank. The FDIC decision was abusive, writes attorney Stephens B. Woodrough. Page 7 MORTGAGES: NORTH CAROLINA legislators seem likely to reject a bill that would remove or reduce limits on interest rates and fees for home equity loans and credit cards. The measure is one in a growing string of state moves to loosen rate and fee caps. Page 8 WITH PRELIMINARY bids past due for Prudential's mortgage unit, GE Capital Mortgage Services appears to be the most serious contender and will spend the summer investigating the unit's diverse businesses. Page 8 PREPAYMENTS of mortgages in Countrywide Credit Industries' servicing portfolio jumped to $1 billion in June, reaching a rate of about 10% a year. Page 9 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: GRAYSTONE PARTNERS, a Chicago-based firm that advises ultra-wealthy families on managing their money, has been acquired by New England Investment Cos. for an undisclosed sum. Page 10 SECURITY FIRST Group, a Los Angeles company known until last week as the Holden Group, is on track to post $150 million in annuity sales this year, up 25% from last year. Page 10 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: ORGA CARD SYSTEMS, the German smart card company, has announced a joint venture with Kirk Plastic Co., the second-largest maker of financial transaction cards in the United States. Kirk gives Orga a U.S. outlet for its chip card technology. Page 12
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