RATING AGENCIES' new bank loan rating system receives mixed reviews from bankers. But Christopher Snyder, president of Loan Pricing Corp., observes: "Loans outperformed all other forms of assets. That's attracting the nonbank investment community, which has to have ratings." Back page COMMUNITY BANKING: BINGHAMTON SAVINGS Bank, a New York state-chartered thrift, is converting to a commercial bank in an effort to gain access to the state's $10 billion public deposits market. Page 6 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: A SURVEY commissioned by United States Trust Company of New York found that affluent baby boomers are anything but freewheeling in their financial habits: They typically own one home, work 52 hours a week, worry about their ability to keep their jobs, and save aggressively for retirement. Page 8 PNC BANK's plan to acquire Midlantic will give Pittsburgh-based PNC, already a major bank marketer of mutual funds and annuities, access to new customers in New Jersey and greater Philadelphia. Page 9 MORTGAGES: HOME SAVINGS Bank, usually an adjustable-rate lender, must work harder to originate loans in this market, says Frederic J. Forster, president and chief operating officer. So it has decided to supplement its portfolio lending with more fixed-rate loans that it can sell in the secondary market. Page 10 TECHNOLOGY: THE ACQUISITION of Midlantic by PNC Bank Corp. should produce big cost reductions through back-office consolidation because of the banks' overlapping markets in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Page 12 THE SECURITIES industry's effort to shorten the settlement cycle to three days will mean fundamental changes in the way some Wall Street players do business, writes Clifford L. Titus, a managing director at ESI Securities. Page 13 COMPLIANCE: IT'S NOT SURPRISING the banking industry cheered when the agencies adopted new Community Reinvestment Act rules. What is surprising, though, is that most of the industry really has nothing to cheer about, writes Linda Gallagher, a senior manager at KPMG Peat Marwick. Page 14 A FLEDGLING firm, Prophet Market Research, has launched an unusual on-line data base that tracks the performance of investment product sales people at the nation's largest banks. Page 15 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: NEARLY TWO-THIRDS of respondents to a survey said they would be interested in a card that consolidates health care, financial, and government information. The study was commissioned by the Smart Card Forum, an industry association. Page 18
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