THE SUPREME COURT has confirmed banks' right to freeze the accounts of bankrupt borrowers who default on their loans. Page 3 THE HOUSE Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to shield thrifts with bad-debt reserves from $3 billion in back taxes. Page 2 COMMUNITY BANKING: "IT'S BEEN a pleasantly busy week," says Jerry Shearer, managing partner of the South Carolina-based Mid-Atlantic Investors. The thrift investor group scored big with the sale of Bankers First to SouthTrust and disclosed the purchase of a new stake in another thrift. Page 8 LINGERING EFFECTS of the 1994 Northridge earthquake can still be felt in Southern California, but one of the worst-hit thrifts continues to have surprising success in resolving quake-jolted credits. Page 8 REGIONAL BANKING: CHASE and Chemical have committed $18.1 billion to a five-year community reinvestment initiative. Page 6 BANKS ARE MAKING more business and consumer loans, even though the economy shows some signs of slowing down, the Federal Reserve says. Page 7 COMPLIANCE: CATTARAUGUS COUNTY Bank in New York has just completed one of its busiest seasons ever. What made things so hectic? A steady parade of examiners. Page 5 A FEDERAL-STATE working group expects to have preliminary proposals in hand by yearend on how to regulate banks that operate across state lines. Page 5 MORTGAGES: GUIDELINES issued by Standard & Poor's could accelerate mortgage banks' entry into the risky but lucrative business of lending to credit- impaired borrowers. Page 14 A DISPUTE over credit scoring between Countrywide Funding and Freddie Mac underscores the strong feelings the issue is stirring. Page 14 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: BOATMEN'S TRUST would get a nice lift from a pending acquisition by its parent, St. Louis-based Boatmen's Bancshares. Fourth Financial of Wichita, Kansas' leading trust bank, would bring $5.5 billion of trust assets. Page 11 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: MERGER PARTNERS First Union and First Fidelity have bought into Nova Information Systems and signed up for it to take over their merchant processing. Page 19 TECHNOLOGY: U.S. BANCORP, Mellon, and a host of other merchant banks and processors are planning to work with Cybercash to allow retailers to accept payments over on-line computer networks. Page 13 FINANCE: NBD BANCORP plans to sell 25 Ohio branches to Fifth Third, a deal that continues a buildup by Fifth Third while removing a major competitor from the hotly contested Ohio market. Back page
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