WASHINGTON

In an effort to level the playing field with national banks, Pennsylvania has given its state-chartered banks permission to sell annuities. Page 2

A trio of trade groups proposed a series of best-practices policies, including provisions for licensing, training, anti-tying, and other issues raised by consumer groups and insurance officials. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

Midwestern banks reported a wide variety of first-quarter results. First of America posted a 26% gain in earnings, while Mercantile of St. Louis suffered a 92% drop because of acquisition charges. Page 5

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Private banks are scrambling to get a handle on the latest marketing trend to sweep banking for the affluent: customer segmentation. The traditional technique, segmenting customers by account size, is no longer cutting it. Page 7

TECHNOLOGY

Chase Manhattan lost two high-level executives in the wake of its merger deal with Chemical Banking. Craig D. Goldman, who was in charge of distributed and advanced technologie s, left before the merger was completed. Deborah L. Talbot, an executive vice president who headed global payment and treasury services, has resigned to pursue other interests. Page 18

COMMUNITY BANKING

Texas bankers are calling on the state to dissolve the state agency that regulates credit unions and transfer their supervision to the state's bank supervisers. Page 12

Amid a resurgence of interest in starting new banks in North Carolina, several start-ups are struggling to open and at least one has abandoned its plans. Page 12

MORTGAGES

Norwest Mortgage solidified its No. 1 status in the securitization derby by selling $11.3 billion of loans to government-sponsored enterprises in the first quarter. Page 14

California-based Weyerhaeuser Mortgage has acquired a regional mortgage lender. The deal will help Weyerhaeuser strengthen its ties to builders. Page 15

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

The National Automated Clearing House Association has adopted rules governing electronic benefits transfer. Several states are considering adopting them, the group said. Page 17

FINANCE

Low interest rates, tight spreads, and funding needs is prompting a spate of new debt issues by banks and investment banks. Page 30

A surge in the stock price of Chase Federal Bank just before it announced its acquisition by NationsBank suggests information on the buyout was leaked early, prompting inquiries from securities regulators. Back page

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