Precise details on lending and investment goals are key to convincing the banking agencies to accept customized Community Reinvestment Act plans. Page 2

Supermarket branches, while generally a boon for consumers, could cut competition and squeeze out small banks, a study by the New York Fed found. Page 3


Southern National adopted a stockholder rights plan to deter hostile takeover attempts. Page 4

Banc One is counting on a Dallas banker, who started and guided a bank through the roughest economic times in Texas, to build up its commercial business. Page 5


A Southern California community bank has a deal that would make it the largest independent in wealthy Orange County. Page 7

Financial Trust, of Carlisle, Pa., agreed to be acquired by Keystone Financial, Pennsylvania's fifth-largest bank holding company, in an all- stock deal worth about $371 million. Page 7


Ohio's Fifth Third is introducing retirement plans for employees of their small-business customers, modeled after 401(k) plans. Page 8


In its second sweeping study of mortgage insurance credit risk, the Fed has taken a new approach to estimating the impact of holding low-income and minority homeowner mortgages. Page 10


GE Capital Services is consolidating the insurance companies it has picked up during a three-year acquisition spree. Page 13


Key Federal Savings has forged an alliance with home equity lender United Companies Financial to market its secured credit card. Page 14


Bank technology stocks were mixed last week, as investors and traders looked forward to the frenzied activity expected in the first quarter. Page 16


The appetite for leveraged bank loans among institutional investors is increasing. In the first nine months of this year, they purchased a record $9.74 billion in bank loans - more than 14 times the level in 1992. Page 20


Settling for safety, the nation's institutional investors loaded up on the shares of the largest banks during the third quarter while jettisoning stakes in regionals. Institutions such as mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and banks acting as trustees bought over 19 million more shares in money-center and superregional banks than they sold during the quarter ended Sept. 30. Page 21

With its announcement to purchase a sizable hometown thrift, St. Louis- based Mercantile Bancorp was the only major bank to stir the calm of holiday trading last week. Back page

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