GAY H. EVANS of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association praised the Fed's plan to let banks decide how much capital to set aside for trading operations. But some banks have reservations. Page 2 FIVE OF SEVEN major financial services trade groups increased revenue last year. Activities like conventions helped the groups keep weaning themselves away from membership fees. But revenue declined for America's Community Bankers and the Independent Insurance Agents of America. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING: DID YOU HEAR the one about the bank director who had to be fetched from a nursing home for each meeting? To help ease out senior members, most boards have now established retirement-age policies, a survey suggests. Page 6 A FORMER investment banker who started a hedge fund two months ago to invest in midsize banks and thrifts is turning up the heat on a Pennsylvania thrift, $275 million-asset First Keystone Financial. Page 7 MORTGAGES: GINNIE MAE will begin guaranteeing securities that banks create from Title I property improvement loans. The aim is to increase bank lending in low-income areas. Page 14 HOME EQUITY LENDING is hot. The year's Consumer Bankers Association conference on the subject drew more than twice last year's crowd, and experts were predicting boom times as consumers rediscover a taste for credit. Page 14 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: CHASE will establish a Canadian-dollar purchasing card program for multinational companies with operations in Canada. The Visa card is to be launched by yearend. Page 15 TECHNOLOGY: FIRST INTERSTATE and First Bank System executives said technology played a significant role in their decision to strike a merger deal. The banks said it would be easy to convert their computer operations to common systems, so $193 million a year of savings could come fast. Page 16 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: BANKS CONTINUED their advance into the mutual fund business in the third quarter, pushing assets under management to $372.8 billion, 5.8% more than at midyear. Page 9 NEW YORK LIFE HAS ventured into banks for the first time, with a variable annuity product. The investment marketing firm Bankmark has been hired to handle the product, and a Cincinnati bank and a New York thrift are already selling it.
Page 11 FINANCE: ANCHOR BANCORP Wisconsin, which operates in the state's hottest market, recently offered investors a lesson in the perils of rising expectations. Back page FORD SAYS it may spin off for sale to the public part of two nonautomotive finance subsidiaries - Associates Corporation of North America and USL Capital - to reap a higher valuation for its holdings in them. Page 22