THE ADMINISTRATION backed legislation to shield thrift bad-debt reserves from $3 billion in back taxes. But a Treasury official said the tax break shouldn't last forever, because unlimited exemptions for institutions that concentrate on residential lending are risky. Page 2

BANKS MAY BE at last positioned to make some headway against credit unions on Capitol Hill, particularly on the issue of revoking that industry's tax-exempt status. Page 2


JEANINE BROWN heads BankAmerica's electronic banking team, which the company created as a separate unit in the hope of making use of its size while remaining nimble.

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THOUGH WELLS FARGO's hostile takeover bid for First Interstate has whetted Wall Street's appetite for cost savings, combining the banks' computer systems might prove to difficult. Page 14


PITTSBURGH-BASED Integra Financial said it would eliminate 1,500 jobs - 29% of its staff - as a result of its pending merger with Cleveland's National City.

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SMALLER CONNECTICUT banks are already profiting from the planned Fleet-Shawmut merger, raking in deposits where the merger would close branches.

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THE UNUSUAL cooperation forged two months ago between Georgia's two banking trade groups to reform the state's controversial intrastate branching laws has crumbled.

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TWO ECONOMISTS sent the Mortgage Bankers Association conferees home happy. They predicted that economic and business conditions would push originations up by as much as 15% next year and greatly increase profitability. Page 8

A REPORTER'S NOTES on the Mortgage Bankers Association conference: Ex-President Bush skips the broccoli; an M&A seminar draws a crowd; many Norwest executives are notable no-shows. Page 8


FIRST INTERSTATE has expanded its mutual funds and consolidated their management. Now all of its funds will be labeled Pacifica, the name that came with last year's purchase of San Diego Bank and Trust.

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TWO PENDING BUYOUTS by Oppenheimer Management would add nine mutual funds to its current portfolio of 45.

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"OUR JOURNEY will not end until we replace all cash and checks with some form of electronic equivalent," said the keynote speaker at the POS Today conference in Dallas. The general feeling, though, was that the journey has hardly begun. Page 12

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