WASHINGTON

The OCC IS BROADENING the definition of "interest" to include late charges, annual fees, and over-limit charges. The April 1 change will let national banks levy these fees across state lines. Page 2

Though the administration and FDIC see the state of the Savings Association Insurance Fund as increasingly dire, it's becoming less likely that there will be a new savings fund rescue attempt in Congress. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

SUPERMARKETS are becoming the front line as Wells Fargo and BankAmerica battle for market share and profits in California and elsewhere in the West. The two are opening more in-store branches than any other U.S. bank. Page 4

FLEET FINANCIAL GROUP, trying to become more of a money-center bank is expanding its corporate wholesale and capital markets-related operations. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING

DESPITE THE SCARE over derivatives, some community banks continue to turn to them for hedging purposes. Page 6

COMMUNITY BANKS aren't yet taking advantage of new laws in at least 10 states allowing them to act as agents for one another in taking out-of- state deposits and loan payments. Page 7

MORTGAGES ROBERT K. COLE, two other former top executives at Plaza Home Mortgage, and a third industry veteran have formed a specialty firm focusing on home loans for people with blemished credit. New Century Financial, which aims for a national market, has been operating since late last year and will close its first loan this month. Page 8

JAY I. KISLAK confirmed that his Florida servicing company is close to a sale to Atlanta's SunTrust Banks. Page 9

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Where does the fund industry turn for asset growth after a virtually unbeatable year? To Washington, for legislative help to keep growth humming. Page

DEBIT/DEBIT/ATMs

A RUMOR that American Express may be a takeover target has generated mostly skepticism from financial analysts. Page 11

VISA HAS CREATED a new home page, but not on the World Wide Web. Using technology from Netscape, it has set up a private "intranet" for use by employees only. Page 111

TECHNOLOGY

PRICE WATERHOUSE is forming an electronic-banking consulting group. Page 14

FINANCE

SUNTRUST SHARES, which had reached new highs in recent days on news of an aggressive bid for consumer deposits, surged further Thursday amid renewed rumors it might merge with Wachovia. Back page

text here. Page 18

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