WASHINGTON:

THE FDIC BOARD approved a budget including a 16% cut in operating expenses 16% next year and a 22% reduction in staffing by yearend '96. Page 2

THE COMPTROLLER's office is proposing to revamp regulations governing national banks' fiduciary activities. Page 3

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

OL' BLUE EYES has joined the ranks of musical icons gracing a MasterCard. Issuer MBNA will target his "large and loyal fan base," a spokesman for the bank says. Page 8

CARDSERVICE International has bought a controlling interest in Nationwide Money Services, a Nevada-based deployer of automated teller machines. Page 8

REGIONAL BANKING:

FIRST NATIONWIDE'S agreements to sell more than $1 billion of Michigan and New York deposits cap a busy year of retrenchment for the former Ford unit, which had once tried to be a national player.

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FIRST SECURITY, Utah's biggest bank, plans to save $51.4 million next year, largely by laying off nearly a quarter of its 6,700 full-time employees.

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COMMUNITY BANKING:

AFTER FOUR YEARS of struggling under a mountain of nonperforming assets and losses, River Bank America has sold itself. HSBC Holdings' Marine Midland Banks is paying $93 million for the New York-area thrift.

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WITH WASHINGTON poised to drop deposit insurance premiums to zero for most banks, thrift executives worry they'll be unable to compete if the banks use the windfall to raise deposit interest rates.

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MORTGAGES:

GLENDALE FEDERAL Bank is dumping its entire $1.8 billion portfolio of derivative mortgage investments at an after-tax loss of $30 million. Page 10

FEDERAL ATTORNEYS may be laying the groundwork for a crackdown on referral compensation practices. The U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia has prepared a blank indictment for criminal proceedings against any lender violating Respa rules on certain loan fees, sources say.

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INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

GERMANY'S DRESDNER Bank says it will use RCM Capital Management, the big money management firm it is buying from Travelers Group, to build a worldwide institutional investment business.

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TECHNOLOGY:

NATIONSBANK has completed the first phase of a massive systems overhaul meant to provide consistent customer information across its delivery channels. Page 14

FIRST NATIONAL Bank of Anchorage has bought an image-based check archiving system from Unisys.

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