WASHINGTON NEW laws are not needed to protect banks from the fraudulent use of consumer information, industry officials agreed in comment letters to the Fed. Page 3 A recent Supreme Court decision making it harder to successfully sue directors and officers for negligence contains a major loophole. Page 3 REGIONAL BANKING SouthTrust of Florida is buying 12 western Florida branches from an H.F. Ahmanson subsidiary. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING The chairman of a community bank is likely to hold the job a pretty long time - often for a generation. But California's SGV Bancorp gets a new one every two years. Page 6 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Banc One executives expressed confidence that Dean Witter's planned merger with Morgan Stanley would be a boon to their own bank's brokerage alliance with Dean Witter. Page 7 MARKET MONITOR With credit qual- ity worries shaking investor confidence in banks that rely on lending, banks with asset management businesses are getting more attention. First Union, Mellon, PNC, Chase, and NationsBank have all recently won endorsements. "The fee income story is becoming more visible," says one analyst. Back page Small and midsize banks are stepping up their investment in asset-backed securities just as the market is becoming more risky. Back page MORTGAGES cross-selling and fee income were touted at the national mortgage servicing conference as ways to bolster profitability. Page 12 Are California lenders dumping foreclosed homes onto the market at bargain rates? A new study says it isn't so. Page 12 TECHNOLOGY CoreStates Financial developed a service that lets corporate customers make automated payments through automated clearing house debits. Page 14 Payment-system operators are preparing for a flood of transactions when smaller corporations begin filing tax payments electronically this year. Page 14 CORPORATE FINANCE BankAmerica and four other banks are set to begin syndication of a $600 million senior bank loan for Northern Telecom. Page 22 Wachovia and London-based HSBC Holdings formed an alliance to jointly market corporate financial services globally. Page 22

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