WASHINGTON

A PILOT TEST of medical savings accounts, a potentially lucrative new product for banks, will be conducted during the next four years. Page 2

THE COMPTROLLER'S Office last week held its first "bring your sons to work" day. Comptroller Eugene Ludwig gave a talk for boys ages 9 to 18. The lucky lads also were given a tour of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and an explanation of a bank examiner's job. Mr. Ludwig's son was too young to take part. Page 3

COMMUNITY BANKING

Finest Financial, a New Hampshire bank, is taking another shot at selling itself, a year after its founding family scuttled a similar deal. Page 5

SMALL BUSINESS

LONGTIME East Coast banker Richard Federman seized a chance to turn a sleepy Colorado nonbank company into a national player in small-business lending. His niche for Independence Commerical Finance: commercial real estate. Page 7

MOST THRIFTS itching to go whole hog on small-business lending are not the western behemoths but small community institutions. Page 7

REGIONAL BANKING

COMPASS Bancshares is moving to acquire another community bank in Jacksonville, Fla., continuing a strategy of building a presence in urban markets outside Alabama. Page 10

ASSETS of the top 25 banking companies rose 2% during the second quarter, to $2.6 trillion. Earnings for the same group of banks surged 20%, to more than $8 billion. Page 10

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

IN THE LATEST test of investment performance by bank-managed mutual funds, First of America snared top honors in two key categories. Page 13

BANKERS are expected to pump as much as $153 billion of common trust fund assets into their mutual funds, now that President Clinton has pledged to sign a tax-free conversion measure into law. Page 19

MORTGAGES

SEVERAL COMPANIES have jumped into manufactured-housing lending in response to stellar sales this year, and established companies have concentrated on expanding their reach. Page 24

BUSINESS is sluggish at one of the last big independent mortgage companies, North American Mortgage. Page 24

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

VITAL PROCESSING Services has teamed with Verifone on a transaction processing system that cuts approval time to about one-third that of conventional analog calls. Page 26

"WE'RE TRYING to be the good guys," says Scott Trager, president of Republic Bank and Trust, one of four community banks in Louisville, Ky., helping customers to avoid ATM fees. Page 26

TECHNOLOGY

BANK TECHNOLOGY stocks were flat for the week, despite Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report suggesting there's no imminent need to raise interest rates. Page 29

IBM is expected to announce today the acquisition of a software system that helps banks analyze customer data to market products and services. Page 30

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