WASHINGTON To ensure that New York's state-chartered banks don't lose ground, regulators are seeking authority to match powers granted to national banks. Page 2 Fed Governor Susan M. Phillips said the chance of another banking crisis is "virtually zero." Despite the "increased complexity of bank risk taking activities," she said, "the chances of a repeat of the banking crisis of the late 1980s have been reduced." Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Recent moves by a host of banking companies to spend big bucks on building brand recognition are expected to raise the status of marketing executives and their staffs. Page 6 FUTUREBANKING WELLS FARGO jumped at the chance to invest in the Mondex smart card system because it can operate cheaply enough to be a cash alternative, says the bank's president, William F. Zuendt. "The credit card paradigm is too costly for a coin replacement," he tells this month's FutureBanking. With a 30% stake in Mondex USA, the network's biggest national entity, Wells is seen as crucial to the venture's global success. Pullout section INVESTMENT PRODUCTS FMR, parent of Fidelity Investments, is opening trust companies in New York and Texas. Page 7 INSURANCE: Banks that sell annuities and other insurance products are worrying about ripple effects from a spate of bad news about insurers. Page 8 SMALL BUSINESS Though direct mail is popular in making very small business loans, branches still do quite a job. Page 12 Union Planters is launching a direct mail promotion with pre-approved applications for business credit lines. Page 13 MORTGAGES PRIVATE BANKING: A tiny California mortgage bank used its earnings release to vent about aggressive pricing by the Goliaths of the business. Page 15 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Queens, N.Y., District Attorney Richard A. Brown, known for his tough-on- crime stance, discusses the need for strict security and fraud enforcement. Page 18 TECHNOLOGY American Management Systems plans to boost its work force by more than 30% this year. Page 20 MARKET MONITOR Most economists expect a modest rise in interest rates by midyear, according to the latest American Banker Yield & Rate Survey. Page 24
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