Congress should not consolidate federal banking and thrift agencies until it has a clearer picture of what the financial services industry will look like, top regulators told lawmakers Tuesday. Page 2

In beating back a plan to bolster the Savings Association Insurance Fund, the banking industry demonstrated last week that it can still muster the political firepower to score big wins on Capitol Hill. Page 3


Great Western Financial has firmed up a new top management team by promoting three executives. Page 5

Continuing its Gulf Coast expansion, New Orleans' Whitney Holding has agreed to buy a community bank in Pensacola, its second deal in the Florida Panhandle city in a week. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING chief Kenneth T. Neilson says the New Jersey banking company's two rapid- fire community bank acquisition s send a message to others that a Hubco buyout is an attractive alternative to a takeover by a larger bank. "Given their druthers, it seems like other community institution s would like to ... be a part of what we're building." Page 6

The local bank's board of directors apparently is no longer sacred as more multibank holding companies opt for single unified boards rather than several separate ones. Page 6


Adjustable-rate loans accounted for 18% of all home mortgages in March, 4 percentage points more than in February, when adjustable rate loans issued hit an all-time low. Page 8

The reshaping of the thrift industry could result in a significant change for mortgages: a big increase in the market share of conventional loans. Page 8


SunAmerica will introduce a novelty next month, an index annuity that promises customers all the gains of the stock market with none of the downside risk. Page 10

First Union's mutual fund and annuity sales have sizzled this year, with sales through March approaching what the banking company booked for all of 1995. Page 10


Pennsylvania's Sovereign Bank is the latest of a handful to offer direct Internet access to customers. Page 12


Bell South and Prudential Bank are bucking the trends in the card market by introducing a cobranded, no-annual-fee card designed for small-business customers. Page 16


After a hiatus of nearly two years, structured derivatives are making a comeback, driven by heavy institutional demand for higher yields and corporate hedging requirements. Page 22

Chase Manhattan is leading a $750 million loan for the Provident Cos. $1.2 billion acquisition of Paul Revere Corp. Back page

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