WASHINGTON:

SMALL BANKS that don't have a satisfactory loan-to-deposit ratio can still earn a passing Community Reinvestment Act grade, regulators said in a nationally televised conference. Page 2

THE CHAIRMAN of the House Ways and Means Committee has introduced a bill that would require thrifts to pay back taxes only on those bad-debt reserves taken after 1987. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING:

TRY THOUGH THEY DID, members of the Consumer Bankers Association couldn't escape Washington at their Phoenix conference this week. Page 4

REBOUNDING from recent woes in its risk management business, Bankers Trust posted net third-quarter earnings of $155 million - 8% less than a year earlier, but 70% more than in the second quarter.

COMMUNITY BANKING:

BANKERS FIRST Corp. of Augusta, Ga., which is shopping itself around, racked up its most profitable quarter ever. Net income soared 19%, thanks to real estate operations. Page 6

IN-HOUSE CREDIT card operations aren't for the faint of heart - it takes size, economies of scale, lots of people, and lots of equipment. Still, 10 community banks have national programs and card portfolios that equal more than 10% of total loans. Page 6

MORTGAGES:

FREDDIE MAC, whose credit standards have long helped define high- quality mortgages, is starting to tiptoe into the lower end of the market. Page 8

CONFORMING LOANS originated last year are suffering from unusually high rates of serious delinquency, making them the worst- performing vintage since 1991. Page 8

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

SOME BANKS HAVE TAKEN mutual fund disclosure to a new level by making the point in prospectuses that the funds they manage may invest in companies that borrow from the bank. Page 10

FIRST MARYLAND Bancorp is taking a cue from bigger banks, creating a separate institutional investment advisory firm. Page 10

TECHNOLOGY:

INTUIT INC., jockeying for position in the electronic commerce market, said it would provide Internet access through its Quicken personal finance software.

Page 17

FINANCE:

THE MARKET didn't change its mind about First Interstate on Thursday, but some analysts expressed doubts. Most of Wednesday's 33% price rise stuck, but Salomon Brothers, S.G. Warburg, Schroder Wertheim, and Hancock Institutional lowered their ratings, noting the risk of a price decline if Wells Fargo's bid falls through.

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CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

FOUR BANK CARD specialists announced substantial third- quarter growth, with First USA leading the pack for the second consecutive period. Page 14

AMERICAN EXPRESS has broadened its successful frequent-traveler program, adding 30 partners offering a variety of retail goods and services. Page 15

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