REGIONAL BANKING:

DISAPPOINTING profits at London-based National Westminster Bank have raised the possibility it is considering a sale of its U.S. retail unit, National Westminster Bancorp. John Tugwell, chairman and chief executive of the U.S. operation, said there was no immediate plan to sell but a "fabulous" offer would be considered. Page 4

WASHINGTON:

HOPING TO SET its mark on the fair-lending debate, the American Bankers Association has released an exhaustive analysis detailing problems with statistical studies that have been used to show lending bias. Page 2

COMMUNITY BANKING:

MOST STATES in the Middle Atlantic region have flung open their doors to interstate branching, and the District of Columbia is apparently about to do the same. An opt-in bill to be introduced in the D.C. Council would allow all forms of bank branching. Page 6

WHEN FIRST NATIONAL Bank of Chicago introduced $3 teller charges on some transactions this year, community bankers helped turn the policy into a public relations nightmare. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

LIBERTY FINANCIAL Bank Group, a leading bank investment products marketer, suffered a decline in sales in the first half of the year after losses of key clients, said the firm's top executive. Page 11

THERE ARE SIGNS that banks are starting to use more outside investment managers to run their large trust accounts, although most banks are reluctant to do so. Page 11

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

GENSAR HOLDINGS has acquired the assets of FirstNet Corp., a third-party point of sale processor that specializes in back-end accounting and settlement services to merchants. Page 12

RECEIVABLES of the Top 10 credit card issuers continued to grow steadily in the first half of the year despite declines in consumer spending and government reports pointing to a general economic slowdown, according to a ranking by RAM Research. Page 12

MORTGAGES:

MONEY STORE's share price has skyrocketed about 36%, to around $50 - an increase of more than $13 in the last two-and-a-half weeks. Analysts said the company's July 26 announcement of better-than-expected second-quarter earnings fed the buying frenzy. Page 8

CENTERBANK Mortgage of Waterbury, Conn., has arranged to do retail mortgage originations in 15 Coldwell Banker Sammis real estate offices in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Page 9

FINANCE:

GIFFORD FONG and Associates has been providing independent evaluation of derivatives since 1991 for Wall Street firms, insurers, mutual funds, and other institutions. A sound framework is essential for accuracy, says Mr. Fong. Back page

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