WASHINGTON

The thrift-fund rescue is expected to play a key role this week as Congress attempts to avoid another budget showdown with President Clinton. Senate Democrats may try to use a fund fix to pay for social programs the President wants. Page 2

Banking and securities supervisors should designate "lead regulators" to oversee global financial firms, a top Bank of England official told the International Swaps and Derivatives Association at its San Francisco convention. Page 2

SMALL-BUSINESS BANKING

Nonbanks are making big commitments - in capital, acquisitions, products, and people - to get a piece of commercial banks' small-business niche. Increasingly, when bankers in the sector confront competition, its from the GEs and Merrill Lynches. Page 5

Fleet is trying to sell its small-business customers on the idea that good things come in packages. It is offering bundled products, and will expand its line this year. Page 6

REGIONAL BANKING

Hibernia has promoted two officers to senior executive vice president, continuing an executive reorganization the New Orleans-based bank began two years ago. Page 9

MORTGAGES

The latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that a the surge in refinancing is more than a flash in the pan. "It's a boom all right," says the group's chief economist. Page 10

American Homestar is quietly arming for battle in the fast-growing market for manufactured housing. And its lending capabilities may be among its best weapons. Page 10

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

A consumer group has given top marks to First Union in what it is billing as the first-ever scorecard on bank-affiliated brokerages. Page 12

Bank fund complexes will have to grow through acquisitions or carve out distinct marketing advantages to survive the coming shakeout, a McKinsey consultant says. Page 12

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Visa, backing away from its opposition to "duality," decided not to make member banks chose between itself and MasterCard in issuing commercial cards. A bylaw requiring such a choice was adopted in 1994 and had been scheduled to take effect this month. Page 14

MasterCard announced the resignation of its remote-banking chief and said it would move that activity into a division that also oversees debit cards. Page 15

TECHNOLOGY

"Home banking will explode this year" - even for community bankers - a credit union executive told attendees at the IBAA convention in Las Vegas. Eighty-five percent of Stanford Federal Credit Union's transactions are made electronically. Page 20

Edify Corp. has begun offering call-center software meant to complement PC banking services. Call Me lets consumers who are banking on-line connect by phone with customer reps, who automatically receive information about them. Page 20

COMMUNITY BANKING

As Congress belatedly puts the finishing touches on the 1995 farm bill, farm agricultural lenders are gearing up for the changes it will bring. In store is a seven-year phasing out of price supports on many crops. Page 22

MARKET MONITOR

Rate-sensitive bank stocks were hit hard by Friday's surprisingly strong employment report. The S&P bank index closed down tktk%, amid a general selloff. Back page

Recessions are rare during presidential election years, but President Clinton ought to be worried anyway. Most economists consider a real recession unlikely, but they do expect a flat economy, which itself carries high political risks. Page 30

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