AN S&P STUDY of credit card companies indicates a close correlation between revenues and bottom-line profits and questions the usefulness of a widely followed efficiency indicator - the ratio of expenses to receivables. Page 14

WASHINGTON:

THE SUPREME COURT heard arguments in a case that will determine whether banks may freeze a bankrupt borrower's accounts. Page 2

DEVELOPERS of stored-value smart cards have argued they should be treated like cash rather than like credit or ATM cards. Now some lawmakers are finding value in that argument. Page 4

REGIONAL BANKING:

FIRSTAR BANK of Milwaukee alleges that a vast Midwest cattle empire was nothing more than a house of cards, and that its owner ran one of the biggest and most elaborate check-kiting schemes ever. Page 5

NEARLY three decades after he started out as a banking trainee at the old Franklin National Bank, Brendan J. Dugan has been named president and chief operating officer of its successor, European American Bank. Page 6

COMMUNITY BANKING:

FIVE YEARS after becoming one of the first commercial banking companies to buy a healthy thrift, a western Pennsylvania company has seen its experiment in shifting away from traditional thrift products bear fruit. Page 8

MORTGAGES:

JOHN ROBBINS, passed over as Chemical's mortgage chief at the last minute, denied the existence of a seven-figure signing bonus rumor had it he would be allowed to keep - supposedly as consolation for being nixed by Chase management. Page 10

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

EATON VANCE CORP., a mutual fund company known primarily for its fixed-income portfolios, wants to break out of that mold by selling a variety of new specialty funds through banks. Page 13

BROKERS with Mellon Bank Corp. will soon be able to process mutual fund transactions over the Internet for institutional customers. Page 13

TECHNOLOGY:

A LEADING in-house advocate of the Chicago Clearing House Association's nascent electronic data interchange network has been hired away by a bank software firm. Page 16

CERIDIAN CORP. said it has bought National Westminster Bank PLC's payroll services business for $52 million in cash. Page 16

FINANCE:

WACHOVIA CORP., a fairly infrequent issuer of debt into the capital markets, has joined the fray by selling $250 million in 30-year notes. Back page

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