But the Detroit bank's strategy involves relying on - and building upon - its historical strength in corporate banking. Pullout section WASHINGTON:
SEN. ALFONSE D'AMATO is expected this week to propose increasing the cap on the amount of money Federal Home Loan System banks may lend to commercial banks. However, House lawmakers are ready to oppose the Senate Banking Committee chairman's plan. Page 2 COMPTROLLER Eugene Ludwig is in damage-control mode after the Fed attacked his agency's CRA examination guidelines as too weak. Page 4 CREDIT UNIONS: RALPH SWOBODA spent 20 years at the Credit Union National Association, eight of them very publicly as president. But it all ended quietly in a single closed-door meeting. Page 10 THE NATIONAL Credit Union Administration has approved 4.4% budget increase, to $97 million, but may cut the operating fee it charges to credit unions by 6%. Page 11 MORTGAGES: IN THE USUAL scheme of things, thrifts are supposed to own mortgage companies, not vice versa. But Collateral Mortgage Ltd. has gladly swum against the tide, and captured plenty of business along the way. Page 14 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOW THAT MILLIONS of consumers have flocked to mutual funds, one of the biggest challenges for the fund industry is to make sure they don't expect too much. Page 18 BANK AND SECURITIES regulators told bank mutual fund executives that they expect to expand their oversight in the coming months. Page 18 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: AMERICAN EXPRESS has begun offering its most exclusive charge card to small businesses. Its Corporate Platinum Card carries a $300 annual fee and offers perks including free companion airline tickets and concierge services. Page 16 CHASE MANHATTAN may be merging with Chemical Banking, but its credit card unit is still cooking up holiday specials. Page 16 TECHNOLOGY:
FISERV AND CHECKFREE plan to announce today an agreement to collaborate on offering automated bill payment and other on-line services to the more than 3,000 banks that are Fiserv's clients. Page 20
THE FEDERAL RESERVE System has begun moving the automated clearing operations of the Minneapolis Fed to a new processing facility in New Jersey. Eventually the center is expected to take over the clearing operations of all 12 Fed district banks. Page 20 FINANCE: BANKERS ARE LEARNING that the generic risk disclosures that derivatives dealers have prepared in conjunction with securities and futures regulators may not go far enough to satisfy banking agencies. Back page NORWEST FINANCIAL successfully brought $200 million of seven-year notes to market despite investors' rising concern about credit quality. Back page COMMUNITY BANKING: PATRICK J. COYNE, chairman of First Financial Corp. in Cumberland, Md., is just one of several small-thrift executives facing challenges from hostile shareholders. Page 12 THE LIFE INSURANCE industry is taking a renewed interest in farm real estate financing, but it claims to be a bank helper rather than a competitor. "We see ourselves mostly as a cooperative entity with the banks instead of a direct competitor," says Michael Smith of Equitable Agribusiness.