WASHINGTON

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims handed a victory to investors in 24 current and defunct thrifts who are seeking to hold the government liable for eliminating regulatory goodwill. Page 2

COMMUNITY BANKING

Women's Bank, the last U.S. bank whose name declares it focused on women, is going gender-neutral. Page 5

INTERNATIONAL

Depositary receipt programs surged to a record last year, whetting bankers' appetites for the lucrative business. Page 8

Several leading U.S. banks are expanding their presence in China to tap into the rapidly expanding financial market. Page 8

MORTGAGES

Newly formed First Madison National is hoping to profit from an increasing number of nonperforming loans. Page 10

A sale of Weyerhaeuser Mortgage could be announced as soon as early February, sources close to the company say. Page 10

Dime Savings seems to have doubled its bets in the mortgage business. Late last year it announced it had coaxed former Chase Mortgage chief executive Fred Koons out of retirement to head its mortgage operations, then he in turn brought Fleet Mortgage's chief on board. Mr. Koons is now busy hiring some of the top professionals in the business to boost originations. Page 10

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Old Kent Financial is on the prowl for investment representatives to beef up its brokerage force tenfold over the next two or three years. Page 11

PRIVATE BANKING: As NationsBank continues to merge with Boatmen's Bancshares, the president of its combined asset-management division announced the formation of three new entities. Page 11

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

First USA signed a deal with Ticketmaster Group to issue a no-fee cobranded Ticketmaster MasterCard in the spring. Page 12

Despite a debt-racked consumer base and competitive marketplace, many major credit card companies experienced double-digit percentage increases in earnings per share for the most recent quarter. Page 13

TECHNOLOGY

ON-LINE BANKING: An Albuquerque-based firm developed a do-it-yourself software kit for companies that want to make private placements or public stock offerings on the Internet. Page 14

MARKET MONITOR

When five of Britain's building societies become banks this year, an estimated 16 million of its customers will get about $32 billion in windfall shares or cash - most of it untaxed. Page 18

As the issuance of trust-preferred securities heats up again, so has the disagreement among analysts over the value of the hybrid security market. Back page

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