CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

TO PERK UP its annual Bank Card Conference, the ABA has broadened the scope - even inviting nonbank rivals to participate in seminars at the event next month. But Keith Coughey, who heads the trade group's bank card executive committee, denies the updating is a reaction "to any 'change or perish' feedback we may have gotten.'" Page 16

REGIONAL BANKING:

IN A MOVE that will triple its branch network in Argentina, Bank of Boston acquired 93 offices and $200 million of assets from the failed Banco Integrado Departmental. Page 6

SUMITOMO BANK's California unit has taken the unusual step of hiring an American who is not of Asian descent to run its retail branches. Page 6

CREDIT UNIONS:

FACED WITH a shrinking client base, Rhode Island Corporate Federal Credit Union is weighing a merger with New York's Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union, industry sources said. Page 10

COMMUNITY BANKING:

SEEKING TO SLASH overhead and boost customer service, a Vermont bank holding company is planning a four-month restructuring that will eliminate almost one-third of the company's staff and disperse many employees to branch sites. Page 12

MORTGAGES:

The biggest news in a busy 30 days on the mortgage M&A front has been an agreement by Mellon to buy Metmor Financial from Metropolitan Life for $165 million. And an even bigger deal by an insurance company is in the offing: the sale of Prudential's mortgage unit to either a single buyer or a group. Page 13

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

BARNETT BANKS and First Union - the banks with the most assets in Florida - have taken the first steps to directly market annuities in the state, now that regulators have given them the green light. Page 15

TECHNOLOGY:

SEEKING INVESTORS eager to profit from the nascent electronic-commerce business, Checkfree Corp. announced last week that it is planning an initial public offering of stock. Page 18

FINANCE:

BANKERS, hard-pressed to increase revenue, are gaining more of an appetite for a business they have traditionally shunned: subprime auto lending. Back page

WASHINGTON:

LENDING AND INVESTING by the Federal Home Loan banks rose sharply in the 12 months ended June 30, with assets up 33% over the year earlier, according to Federal Housing Finance Board data. Page 4

A NEW STUDY suggests that minorities do not negotiate as well as whites whether they are haggling over the price of a new car or the interest rate on the loan - prompting an expert to warn that banks whose agents consistently charge minorities higher rates could be opening themselves up to federal discrimination charges. Page 2

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.