REGIONAL BANKING:

MALCOLM S. McDONALD, Signet Banking Corp.'s next chief executive, downplays the Virginia company's growing loan losses as the cost of developing a nationwide financial services operation. Page 6

THROUGH FILINGS recently made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wells Fargo has disclosed its efforts to develop low-cost methods of selling banking services. Page 5

WASHINGTON:

FEDERAL REGULATORS abandoned plans to collect interest rate risk data from banks in the first quarter. Page 2

WITH FEWER national banks to examine, the Comptroller's office is scaling back its staff and losing some of its most experienced supervisors in the process. Page 4

COMMUNITY BANKING:

NORTH CAROLINA's two banking trade groups appear likely to merge in the coming months, a move reflecting the consolidation in the state. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

PNC BANK CORP.'s brokerage is carving out some niches in an effort to build up its reputation as a full-service broker-dealer. Page 9

MORTGAGES:

BANK OF BOSTON is spinning off its mortgage company to free the unit to prowl for acquisitions. Page 10

KNUTSON MORTGAGE hired a seasoned mortgage industry executive to forge alliances for its wholesale lending unit. Page 10

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

TAKING ADVANTAGE of a rising sense of community pride and solidarity, black-owned Boston Bank of Commerce will issue a Visa card that contributes to charities for African-Americans. Page 14

COMPLETING a hat trick of sports league sponsorships for the credit card industry, MasterCard announced a four-year agreement this week with the National Hockey League. Page 14

TECHNOLOGY:

BILL GATES of Microsoft has gone a long way toward recasting his image and portraying himself as a friend to bankers, based on reactions to his retail delivery conference speech last week. Page 17

CCB FINANCIAL Corp. of North Carolina has joined the Payment Systems Network Inc., a local automated clearing house association looking to expand regionally. Page 16

FINANCE:

GRAVITY may finally be slowing the ascent of State Street Boston's stock, which has gained more than 50% since early April. Back page

MARY SCHAPIRO's planned departure from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will leave the futures and options regulator with two of its five seats vacant for the second time in two years. Back page

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