A top regulator is praising a plan allowing the Federal Home Loan banks to provide advances to small banks for agricultural and commercial loans. Page 2

A community group charged that Sumitomo Bank of California discriminates against female and minority employees, and asked the Department of Labor to investigate. Page 2


Banc One agreed to put up $35 million for the right to put its name on a new sports complex planned for Columbus, Ohio - the largest U.S. city without a major professional sports franchise. Page 5


Standard & Poor's is expanding its ratings on banks in emerging markets to cover an additional 250 banks over the next few months in markets stretching from Mexico to Indonesia. Page 6

Chase Manhattan arranged a $6 billion standby emergency credit program for Argentina's central bank, in a deal that underscores its growing interest in Latin America. Page 6


When Baltimore's First Mariner Bancorp went public last week, the offering drew unexpectedly heavy investor interest and raked in $16.8 million. Chairman Edwin F. Hale Sr., a former trucker, said the capital raised in the stock sale will enable the 20-month-old bank to increase its legal lending limit and buy other banks. Page 8


Bridal registry accounts are a new wrinkle in mortgage marketing, with some newlyweds asking wedding guests to pitch in a contribution toward a down payment on a home. Page 9


Bisys Group, a leading partner of banks that manage mutual funds, broke through the $100 billion mark in assets under administration, far outdistancing its closest rivals. Page 10

Wachovia is beefing up its life insurance marketing effort with a team of agents stationed throughout the bank. Page 11


MasterCard International is marketing an affinity card through its member banks as part of a global sponsorship of Lola Formula One racing cars. Page 12

First Premier, Sioux Falls, S.D., is test marketing a secured Greyhound MasterCard in five major cities. Page 12


ON-LINE BANKING: Visa Interactive is incorporating into the home banking systems it supplies to banks software that can interpret and act upon spoken commands. Page 15


The Fed's unanimous vote to lift the revenue limit on securities underwriting for commercial banks has met with a mixed reaction among bank stock investors. Back page

After lying low for most of the year, UBS Securities' merger and acquisitions group has taken a lead role in two recently announced deals in Missouri. Back page

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