WASHINGTON: IN THE FIRST step of a drastic program of staff cutbacks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced a buyout plan it hopes will entice 500 employees to leave. Page 2 BARNETT BANKS told the Supreme Court that Congress never gave states the power to block national bank insurance sales. The American Bankers Association said the justices should not be duped into believing the issue is one of states' rights. Page 2 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: PROBES of how well banks disclose investment risk has more to do with past than present practices, regulators say. "The difference between then and now is striking," says Philip A. Feigin, Colorado's securities commissioner. "It is the rare bank investment ad that doesn't have an FDIC disclaimer." Page 10 NEARLY A YEAR after Central Carolina Bank and Trust abandoned plans to build its own brokerage unit, the company is expanding its effort to sell investment products. Page 11 REGIONAL BANKING: CREDITANSTALT-BANKVEREIN, Austria's biggest bank, is transferring most of its New York City operations to Connecticut. It's part of an attempt to save $2 million a year in rent and taxes. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING: MISSOURI'S Midland Bank, near death in 1993, is finally looking forward instead of digging itself out. And everyone involved praises Thomas H. Brouster, the career bank fix-it man turned chairman and CEO. Page 6 CUTTING COSTS at a community bank is a prickly business, but the officers of U.S. Bank in Johnstown, Pa., found a way to mollify the rank- and-file: They took pay cuts themselves. Page 7 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs: GOING AGAINST the political winds, an Iowa-based funds transfer network is calling for new regulations to govern electronic benefits transfer programs. Officials of the Shazam network went to Washington this week to lobby. Page 12 ISED CORP., a three-year-old provider of data security technology, has introduced a low-cost terminal that it says can lure small retailers into electronic payment systems. Page 13 TECHNOLOGY: UNISYS has hired a management consultant who used to be a senior First Chicago executive to head a consulting, systems integration, and outsourcing services unit. Page 14 CHECKFREE said it intends to test on-line bill presentment and enlist more than 2,000 consumers in Texas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for the pilot. Page 14 FINANCE: STANDARD & POOR's and Moody's have split on the credit implications of new card products from MBNA. Back page THE BIDDING WAR for First Interstate is turning into a Wall Street bonanza. At least five investment banks, five law firms, and two proxy solicitation companies are helping Wells Fargo, First Bank System, and their intended slug it out. Back page
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