WASHINGTON:

CONTRADICTING the conventional wisdom, a study by the Comptrollers office found that banks owned by out-of-state holding companies offer lower rates than in-state banks on small-business loans.

Page 3

REGIONAL BANKING:

WELLS FARGO said it would file with the Justice Department and the FTC its intention to buy more than 15% of First Interstate's voting stock. A spokesman said the filing would underscore Wells' commitment to its hostile takeover bid. Page 4

SMALL BUSINESS:

THE MARKET for securitizing small-business loans will grow over the next several decades without additional government assistance, writes the Minneapolis Fed's Ron Feldman. But the effects will not be uniform, he says, nor will all small-business borrowers and lenders view them as improvements. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING:

ONE VALLEY Bancshares in Charleston, W.Va., has adopted a poison- pill plan to discourage hostile bids. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

BANKERS WHO MANAGE money market mutual funds are troubled by a new SEC proposal that would require detailed disclosure of the securities in those portfolios. Page 12

ROOSEVELT FINANCIAL Group in St. Louis is strengthening its retail investment program in the wake of an acquisition binge that has quadrupled the thrift's assets over the last two years. Page 12

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

ARE ATMS HISTORY? The Smithsonian seems to think so. It has put a 16-year-old machine into a touring exhibition that focuses on struggles between workers and managers throughout history.

Page 8

FIFTH THIRD is beefing up the credit card it started issuing two years ago, with much applause, for the Kroger supermarket chain. The Cincinnati bank is still trying to get the program into the express lane. Page 9

TECHNOLOGY:

MASTERCARD is said to have deals on the table with Meca Software, maker of Managing Your Money, and with a unit of Servantis Systems. The aim is to help revive the card association's home banking program. Page 16

FIRST INTERSTATE has purchased centralized decision support and profitability management software from Treasury Services Corp. Page 17

FINANCE:

SPECULATION that NationsBank and BankAmerica would merge boosted their stock as trading opened, but interest waned as analysts expressed skepticism that a deal was imminent. Back page

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