WASHINGTON

The FDIC decision clearing the way for thrifts to shift deposits to bank units affected only two companies directly - but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Page 2

The indirect threat to repayment of thrift bailout bonds may prod Congress to move faster on a thrift fund fix. Page 4

REGIONAL BANKING

BankAmerica is trying to transform its feeble Texas bank into an urban cowboy. It plans to sell all its 68 Bank of America Texas branches in small towns and midsize cities to focus on major metropolitan areas, where it has more than 150 branches. Page 6

MORTGAGES

Who should represent a finance company in TV ads - sports celebrities or (a bargain) the boss? Michigan's FirstPlus Financial hired Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. At New Jersey's Champion Mortgage, the CEO stars. Page 7

Huge cost differences will force a shakeout in the home loan industry, two Booz Allen consultants write. Page 7

COMMUNITY BANKING

New York State's Banking Department has issued $153 million to thrift creditors of Nationar, more than 16 months after the check- processing company was seized by regulators. Page 8

In less than two weeks this spring, more than 100 investors calling from as far off as Hong Kong set phones ringing at a North Carolina community bank. Why? Praise from Warren Buffett. Page 8

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Wells Fargo says it is the first major bank to let customers apply over the Internet to open money market mutual fund accounts. Prospectus, disclosures, and application are all on-line. Page 11

TECHNOLOGY

Checkfree has an image problem - with banks. Best known for the bill- paying services it has offered to consumers, it now must market the services of three banking technology companies acquired just this year. Page 12

How should banks choose software partners for the Internet marketing wars? Carefully, writes the founder of a financial planning software firm. Page 12

SMALL BUSINESS

A $1.1 billion guaranteed-loan program to help small businesses hurt by military cutbacks has backed only $30 million of loans in its first nine months. Page 15

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

First USA has launched a platinum card. "They copy everything we do," said a senior executive at MBNA, which claims one million cardholders for the platinum card it introduced in March. Page 16

Many ATM owners are making extra income by charging local merchants for advertising - either onscreen or on the transaction receipts. Page 16

MARKET MONITOR

Loan-loss reserves wouldn't look as formidable when problem credit card or other consumer loans were factored in, analyst George M. Salem says. Page 21

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