WASHINGTON

A new proposal would get banks off the hook for at least some of the interest on bonds used to bail out the thrift insurance fund. The idea calls for using Federal Reserve's excess earnings to cover some of the cost. Page 2

The U.S. Supreme Court has been working overtime on banking decisions, issuing a number of orders and opinions on banking issues. Additional cases are expected to be considered before the year's end. Page 3

REGIONAL BANKING

At Citicorp's annual meeting, chairman John Reed downplayed the threat of the new Chase, now the nation's biggest bank. "We will compete with them as we did with the separate Chemical and Chase," Mr. Reed said. Page 4

While most banks are using fees to discourage customers from using tellers, Star Banc is offering to pay its customers $5 if they have to wait more than five minutes in a teller line. Page 5

MORTGAGES

With Franklin D. Raines tapped for a cabinet job in the Clinton administration, Fannie Mae is facing two knotty issues. One is finding a suitable replacement for Mr. Raines, who spearheaded crucial technology projects at the agency. The other is whether to give Mr. Raines $4 million in unvested benefits. His nomination to the OMB is pending an FBI background check. Page 8

As the thrift industry struggles to revitalize itself, First Federal Savings in Rochester, N.Y., has already settled on several ways to rev itself up. The upstate thrift looks like a testing laboratory for the rest of the industry. Page 8

COMMUNITY BANKING

Despite a wave of hostile - and successful - actions by aggressive shareholders, community bank directors continue to be "sitting ducks" for such actions, says the director of a directors trade group. Page 6

An institutional shareholder of a Long Island, N.Y., thrift castigated management in a call for the company to sell itself to the highest bidder. Page 6

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Last week's stock market roller coaster prompted antsy bank brokerage chiefs to order employees to make reassuring calls to customers and to backburner risky investments. Page 10

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

St. Louis-based Meridian Enterprises' patent infringement suit against several of the biggest players in the card industry took a surprising turn with a ruling favoring the plaintiff. Page 12

Deluxe Data Corp., Transactive Corp., and IBM Corp. are vying to provide electronic benefits transfer services in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Page 12

TECHNOLOGY

Some observers say Fidelity Investments' pending buyout of Broadway & Seymour's trust systems unit will improve bank access to investment product services, but others worry about putting their faith in a nonbank competitor. Page 16

FINANCE

Bank of New York's sliding stock prices won it an upgrade from one key analyst, who declared the shares an "attractive" buy. Back page

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