WASHINGTON:

SUSAN F. KRAUSE, the OCC's risk management guru, favors allowing financial services providers more freedom "to operate according to market forces." Meanwhile, she's trying to build a better bank exam. Page 4

THE CHAIRMAN of the House Banking Committee warned that U.S. branches of foreign banks may deserve closer scrutiny in the wake of the recent $1.1 billion bond trading loss at the New York office of Daiwa Bank Ltd. Page 2

COMMUNITY BANKING:

WHEN THE BOMBING of the Oklahoma City federal building last April killed the daughter of a Midfirst Bank employee, the company turned to Lawrence Brock, whose firm has a unique specialty: counseling traumatized bank employees. Page 8

A BATTLE over interstate branching seems unlikely in South Dakota, as independent bankers appear poised to side with the South Dakota Bankers Association in favor of an early "opt-in." Page 9

MORTGAGES:

IT MAY LOOK as if Wells Fargo & Co. has merely farmed out its mortgage originations to Norwest Corp. in the joint venture recently formed by the two banks.

But in a twist, Norwest will also be helping Wells to cross-sell other products to its mortgage customers. Page 7

THE FALL is shaping up as a strong season for mortgage bankers, with application rates up more than 60% from year-earlier levels. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

TRUST AND PRIVATE bankers from across the country convened in Chicago to consider new sales methods for grappling with the growing threat of nonbank competition. Page 10

UNION BANK of Switzerland is offering U.S. customers an investment product with timeless appeal: gold bars. And, in an effort to outwit counterfeiters and cut the cost of gold transactions, the bars are being embossed with the bank's logo in a complex image resembling a hologram. Page 11

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

FIRST DATA Corp. is promoting a program designed to make statement stuffers more valuable to consumers by offering discounts tied to their particular spending habits. Page 12

SMALL BUSINESS:

CEO KERRY KILLINGER said the planned acquisition of small-business specialist Western Bank would help Washington Mutual "develop a very strong commercial bank to be a companion to our very strong consumer bank." Page 6

TECHNOLOGY:

EON CORP. has virtually disappeared from banks' radar screens after some promising plans to provide financial and shopping services through souped-up televisions. The company, formerly known as TV Answer Inc., is now channeling its interactive efforts toward polling, advertising, and messaging. Page 13

A LEADING PROVIDER of on-line transaction systems and security for ATM networks has developed a hardware-based encryption device designed to protect bank transactions sent over the Internet. Page 14

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