WASHINGTON

The FDIC will lay off 110 permanent employees next year as part of a plan to cut its work force of 9,800 by 14% during 1997. Page 2

In its periodic report on economic conditions around the country, the Fed said consumer lending slackened while borrowings by businesses increased over the last six weeks. Page 3

REGIONAL BANKING

A new study by an economist at the San Francisco Fed punches a hole in a popular argument against large bank mergers. Page 4

In a move that would make it the dominant bank in southwest Virginia, First Virginia Banks agreed to acquire Premier Bankshares for $160.4 million of stock. Page 5

MORTGAGES

At this year's Mortgage Bankers Association conference in San Francisco, repurchase requests were a hot issue. While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sought to reassure attendees that both agencies have lenders' interests in mind, Freddie Chairman Leland Brendsel said he did not expect buyback requests to end completely. "We now absorb 95% of all credit losses, but it won't become 100%," he said. Page 6

Home equity lenders are continuing to post strong profits, reflecting rising origination volumes and restrained delinquencies. Page 7

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Earnings rose in the third quarter at the card units of American Express and Dean Witter - but they still suffer high levels of credit card losses. Page 9

TECHNOLOGY

A Massachusetts thrift that spent $5 million on a computer system upgrade wants to disprove the notion that banks have to be big to use technology most effectively. Page 12

ON-LINE BANKING: Six major banks and payment processors announced support for Microsoft software designed to promote Internet commerce. Page 14

COMMUNITY BANKING

A rift is growing among Oklahoma's state-chartered banks between the expansion-minded and those that fear ruinous competition. Page 15

M&A REVIEW

NationsBank has taken heavy fire from Wall Street over the high price it is paying for Boatmen's, but some analysts now sense that the deal sends a warning to capital-heavy banks. Page 23

With acquisition prices still high in the banking industry, mergers of similar-size banks could rise again soon. Page 26

The Justice Department has begun imposing new antitrust policies on bank mergers that could unexpectedly complicate future deals, a prominent merger and acquisition attorney says. Page 28

FINANCE

By easing restrictions on commercial banks' investment banking activities, the Fed may have fueled hype about bank acquisitions of investment houses. Back page

Banks retreated from issuing bonds this month, but are expected to return to the capital markets in November as fears about rising interest rates strengthen. Back page

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.