WASHINGTON

An American Bankers Association task force meets today to begin studying how the industry can preserve its role in the payment system. Page 2

The nation's biggest thrift trade group and the trade group for community banks have agreed to "establish a mechanism to promote their common interests." Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

Bankers in Puerto Rico say ending the tax breaks that have fueled its growth for 20 years could have a disastrous effect. Page

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

BANKS SLIPPED behind rivals in mutual fund asset growth in 1995 for the first time in at least nine years. The investment results of bank-managed funds, how- ever, compared favorably with nonbanks' offerings. A special report scans the bank proprietary fund landscape and examines what banks need to do next. Pullout section

COMMUNITY BANKING

Vallicorp in Fresno was one of the bright spots in California community banking in the early 1990s. But last year was one of its worst ever. Page 6

Lockport Savings Bank near Buffalo marked its 125th anniversary by paying out $1.25 million to depositors as a special interest payment. Page 6

COMPLIANCE

Banks told the Fed they want a nationwide standard on how to bill borrowers for insurance against being unable to repay because of death or disability. The Fed had proposed to let state laws prevail. Page 8

Bankers are grappling with what disclosures they must make about the newly popular wrap accounts. Page 8

MORTGAGES

North American Mortgage is offering home equity lines of credit in tandem with first mortgages - with no additional closing costs. Page 10

TECHNOLOGY

Hogan Systems adapted all its mainframe-based management information software for use on smaller computers that can use Unix operating systems. The objective: new customers. Page 12

Like their banking challengers, mutual fund companies are rushing to establish themselves on the Internet's World Wide Web - even though technological and regulatory issues remain unresolved. Page 13

DEBIT/DEBIT/ATMs

The head of Banc One's card services subsidiary has been promoted to president of the unit. Marvin Adams' responsibilities have included moving Banc One banks and third-party clients to its Triumph processing system. Page 15

FINANCE

First Chicago NBD shares advanced Wednesday after an upgrade, but other banks mostly slipped lower as the stock market retreated from recent highs on profit taking. Back page

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