Regulators' emphasis on community reinvestment and fair lending may not have had a huge impact on minority and low-income lending, a Chicago Fed study suggests. Page 2

Bankers on the Internet are wondering how community reinvestment laws will affect them, and regulators have no answers - yet. Page 18


For bankers, 1996 was a banner year. The industry gained greater securities underwriting powers; eliminated reams of cumbersome rules; and defeated the insurance lobby in the courts, before regulators, and in Congress. Page 4


Consolidation has spurred droves of bankers to join the ranks of money management firms in recent years. Page 7

If Mercantile Bancorp. closes two pending acquisitions in St. Louis over the next several months, it will hold nearly one-fourth of Missouri's total deposits. Page 7


Bankers in several western states are starting to assess the damage suffered both by their own institutions and customers now that floodwaters have begun to recede in some areas. Page 8


An Arthur Andersen survey found that the top servicers increase their portfolios aggressively - three times faster than average - and rely heavily on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans that undergo stringent underwriting. Page 11

Look for more mortgage-backed securities to find their way into investors' portfolios in 1997. That's the consensus of traders, researchers, and portfolio managers who gauge what kind of asset-backed securities will be hot this year. Page 11


GE Capital Services hired a First Data executive to head its credit card business. Page 17


Long viewed as a distant second choice for small banks going public, the American Stock Exchange has come on strong in recent years. Since 1993, the number of banks and thrifts that have joined the exchange has jumped dramatically, from five that year to 15 in 1996. Richard Syron, the American's chairman, has focused his efforts on attracting the banking sector by installing "listed companies services" and touting the heavily regulated "specialist" system. Page 22

Shares of State Street Boston fell Monday after takeover speculation drove up the stock last week. Back page

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