WASHINGTON

A VISA executive urged Congress to make it more difficult for people to escape their debts by filing for bankruptcy. Page 2

AT AN FDIC hearing, consultants said banks largely are unprepared for the new world of electronic banking and need guidance from regulators. Page 3

THE FED said most corporate and municipal bond interest should be excluded from the 10% cap on commercial underwriting revenue. Page 3

REGIONAL BANKING

MELLON'S DEAL to open more than 100 supermarket branches in the Philadelphia area over the next five years could signal more such alliances in the Northeast. Page 4

COMMUNITY BANKING

BANK MANAGERS hope that stonewalling tactics - up to and including going to court - will raise the stakes for those seeking to wrest control of the banks. Page 6

TECHNOLOGY

A TASK FORCE including major banks aims to increase direct-deposit participation in the New York area. "We're committed to getting hundreds of thousands more people in our district to participate," said Jill Considine, president of the New York Clearing House, which is leading the effort. Page 13

SWIFT, the bank-run global network for financial transactions, has appointed a vice president to develop an electronic international registry for trade documents. Page 13

NEW ENGLAND LIFE has purchased a stake in Meca Software, joining five major banks that control the company. Page 14

MORTGAGES

IN LATIN AMERICA, there are two constants: Loans are smaller than in the United States, and interest rates are considerably higher - ranging from 11% to 20%, U.S. mortgage bankers are told. Page 8

FANNIE MAE and Merrill Lynch Credit are launching a pilot that will allow lenders to access automated underwriting and appraisals for jumbo loans. Page 8

REGULATORS WARN thrifts to make sure they have controls and qualified people in place as they venture into commercial and nonmortgage consumer lending. Page 9

NORWEST MORTGAGE has enlisted industry veteran Phillip W. Bracken as a consultant to raise its profile with government officials. Page 9

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

BANKAMERICA's private bank is setting up shop in Atlanta, targeting the area's affluent and expanding its presence in the Southeast. Page 10

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

NATIONAL PROCESSING will provide authorization and back-end processing services to a small counterpart in Nashville, giving National access to a base of smaller merchants. Page 11

A TOP EXECUTIVE for the Most network is leaving his post to become senior vice president of electronic banking at Comerica. Page 12

FINANCE

SEEKING A SHARE of the lucrative junk bond market, commercial and investment banks are rapidly packaging and increasing the size of bridge loan funds. Back page

COMMERCE, a New Jersey bank, has become one of the hottest bank stocks, as investors focus on its strong earnings and the likelihood of a takeover. Back page

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