A credit union in Vancouver, Canada, is keeping that country's banks on their on-line toes. Vancouver City Savings has pioneered with debit cards, in-store banking, and interactive television. Its plan to open Canada's first "virtual," or branchless, bank next year prompted one of the big nationwide banks, Bank of Montreal, to try to preempt it. Pullout section


The chairman of the National Credit Union Administration is leading the industry's attack on a lawsuit challenging the agency's right to expand credit union membership. Page 2

The Fed issued guidelines requiring external audits for poorly run foreign bank branches. Page 3


National Commerce Bancorp., one of the first companies to open bank branches in grocery stores, now plans to take "in-store" offices to small towns nationwide. Page 4

Great Western Financial created a unit that it hopes will generate up to $675 million of consumer loans by the end of next year. Page 7


Freddie Mac says the flow of loans through its automated underwriting system has increased briskly and should account for half of its volume next year, up from 20%. Page 12


Though credit scoring for small-business loans has ballooned, questions persist about the new technology's discipline and ability to withstand a recession. Page 16

American Express entered the California small-business market, which is shaping up as the country's prime battleground for an increasingly competitive group of SBA lenders. Page 17


Farm bankers from around the country will gather in Kansas City today to look back on a year of success and ahead to a year of challenges. Page 19


First USA Paymentech plans to issue a multi-use fleet MasterCard that will include purchasing, travel, and entertainment capabilities. Page 20

Visa and Marriott Hotels Resorts and Suites signed what they said is a multimillion-dollar agreement to promote each other's brands. Page 21


KeyCorp signed on with three networks that target financial advisers to increase its mutual fund distribution. Page 22

In an arbitration complaint, a former NationsBank employee charged that the bank's investment subsidiary misguided its customers about investment strategies. Page 23


Bank technology stocks remained mixed last week, as investors' search for longer-term investments led to purchases of more conservative shares. Page 25


After briefly slipping behind the pace of the surging stock market last week, bank stocks rejoined the bulls as profit taking gave way to fresh buying. Page 33

The big reason why Wall Street keeps setting records: The nation's economy has virtually never looked healthier than it does right now. Page 33

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