REGIONAL BANKING:

CHICAGO-BASED Harris Trust is selling its business serving big corporate trust clients to Citicorp. The Bank of Montreal subsidiary said it couldn't keep up with the competition. Page 6

A PROMINENT Wall Street analyst is warning that banks may have to be more cautious about buying back stock after completing mergers using the popular accounting pooling-of-interest method. Page 6

WASHINGTON:

THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING Standards Board last week took a step back from a mark-to-market approach to derivatives accounting that had alarmed bankers. But the new plan isn't winning rave reviews either.

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THE FDIC is looking beyond Camel ratings and capital levels as it considers how to set bank premiums in the future. "The real trick is to look for leading indicators of problems," the agency's research chief says.

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CREDIT UNIONS:

A FEDERAL PROBE into the failure of Capital Corporate Federal Credit Union in Maryland has triggered a war of letters between the investigators and the investigated.

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U.S. CENTRAL Credit Union, much maligned for its capital position, has taken steps to improve it.

Two months ago the liquidity center has asked its member corporate credit unions to designate a portion of their deposits as conditional capital. So far they've chipped in $482 million. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING:

THOUGH FARM LENDING is a profitable niche, many of the banks engaged in it underperform because they lack the ability to diversify their loan portfolios, according to a recent study. Page 10

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INVESTMENT PRODUCTS:

BANK BROKERAGE customers stuck by their stock mutual funds even as share prices tumbled during last week's market turmoil. In a round of interviews, mutual fund and bank brokerage executives said redemption levels were hardly affected.

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MORTGAGES:

MOST LENDERS are expecting the Federal Open Market Committee to push interest rates down later this month - but they are not especially excited about the prospect. "I don't think a rate cut is going to make much of a difference," a Wachovia executive says. Page 8

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs:

MBNA CORP., the king of affinity marketing, hopes to snare Marvel comic fans into its web of products by issuing a card emblazoned with Spider-Man. The no-fee Marvel MasterCard will carry a 9.9% teaser rate for six months.

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CHECK CASHING companies are feeling so threatened by electronic benefits transfer technology that they are lobbying policymakers to include them in the new systems for distributing welfare, food stamps, and similar payments.

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TECHNOLOGY:

AN IBM UNIT will continue to run BankAmerica Illinois technology and operations under a renegotiated contract. A bank source said B of A got better terms in the $500 million deal. Page 18

MOST BANK technology stocks took a nosedive last week, as investors sold shares in anticipation of weaker-than-expected fourth- quarter earning reports.

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