WASHINGTON

Providing regulatory relief is no easy task. Just ask the Federal Reserve Board. Page 2

The Office of Thrift Supervision adopted an interim rule giving savings institutions the power to offer more small-business and credit card loans. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

First of America said it will reduce its work force by a "relatively small" percentage and reorganize around four lines of business. The chairman of the Kalamazoo, Mich., company said the aim was to meet analysts' earnings projections. text here. Page 5

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

A group of activist seniors wants Great Western's board to address their complaints about deceptive investment sales practices or put the thrift's brokerage on the block. Page 10

BankAmerica's private bank is going after New York's nouveaux riches. The San Francisco banking giant plans to mine its corporate client list for private banking business. Page 10

MORTGAGES

Fleet Financial Group is vowing to remain a big force in home lending despite persistent defections from its mortgage unit. Page 12

Veteran manufactured-home lenders have been seeing steady rises in repossessions this year, partly because of lower down payment requirements. Page 13

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Advanta promoted a former MasterCard executive to lead its own international efforts. James W. John developed business opportunities in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean for MasterCard. Page 14

COMMUNITY BANKING

NationsBank is setting up an farm banking division in Kansas City, Mo., the stamping ground of merger partner Boatmen's Bancshares. Together they'll be No. 4 in the business. Page 17

TECHNOLOGY

The recent departures of two Bisys Group customers have industry experts wondering about the future of the company's bank outsourcing business. Page 20

Leading investors curbed their buying of private placements last year, but some of them say they'll have a stronger appetite for such securities in 1997. Page 28

MARKET MONITOR

CoreStates has joined the growing list of banking companies facilitating share repurchase programs through short-selling of their own stock. Page 29

The debate over inflation has heated up again as business economists refine their forecasts for 1997. Page 29

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