THE RATIO of Bank Insurance Fund reserves to deposits climbed to 1.30% in the third quarter, leading industry representatives to press for further cuts in premiums. Page 2 A FEDERAL appeals court in Cincinnati has opened the door for borrowers to collect millions of dollars in damages from auto lenders. Page 4 SMALL BUSINESS: JILL M. CONSIDINE, president of the New York Clearing House Association, is heading a new venture capital fund that can finance $100 million of equity and debt for small businesses owned by minorities and women. Page 17 COMMUNITY BANKING: NORTHEASTERN community banks and thrifts turned in generally solid performances in the third quarter, even though analysts saw the first signs of trouble ahead. Page 18 A TINY Anaheim, Calif., bank allegedly participated in a scheme that allowed bogus investors to purchase $179 million of securities without using any of their own money. Page 18 AFTER TWO YEARS of pressure from bankers, the Internal Revenue Service agreed last week to let small banks in several midwestern states return to a prior accounting method for short-term loans that they said allows fairer taxation. Page 18 MORTGAGES: WITH APPLICATIONS on the rise, mortgage bankers have been learning to do more - in some cases much more - with the same number of employees or fewer. Page 20 MORTGAGE BANKERS can't seem to reach a consensus on whether there's room for small to midsize lenders in this age of consolidation. Page 20 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: STOCK MUTUAL FUNDS are still booming, but there are signs that bank brokerage clients are becoming a little wary of the equity markets. Page 24 A MINNESOTA THRIFT with a strong reputation for annuity sales has signed up with a major insurance company to offer a new private-label, fixed-rate annuity. Page 24 A MONEY MANAGER co-owned by Wells Fargo is paving the way for retirement savers to access their accounts and make investment transactions via the Internet. Page 25 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: AMERICAN EXPRESS' Optima True Grace Card is steadily growing but GE Capital's Exxon card is lagging behind comparable programs, a consumer survey has found. Page 22 STATE BANK of Fenton, Mich., recently issued 4,300 debit cards to children at 13 area grade schools. The students use the card, called the Moola Moola Cafe Card, to buy their school lunches. Page 22 TECHNOLOGY: A CONSORTIUM of home lending groups has set up a Delaware corporation to manage the long-anticipated Mortgage Electronic Registration System and aims to have it up and running by early 1997. Page 26 DATA SWITCH, Tandem Computers, and Applied Communications have developed a system for linking banks' mainframe computers to newer client/server environments. Page 26
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