WASHINGTON To protect their membership bases, more than 50 federal credit unions have asked for permission to switch to state charters, a regulator said. Page 2 COMMUNITY BANKING More professional athletes are investing in minority-owned banks. Page 6 First Republic Bancorp, one of San Francisco's largest independent thrifts, hired a prominent investment bank to look at whether it should be sold. Page 6 MORTGAGES Subprime lender First Finance renewed its attack to capture 35% of Detroit's home equity market in the next two months. Page 7 INTERNATIONAL Mexico is slowly rebuilding its economy, and U.S. banks and other foreign operators see opportunity arising two years after its financial crises. Page 8 CoreStates Financial is entering into more diversified and longer-term transactions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Page 9 REGIONAL BANKING Norwest chief executive Richard M. Kovacevich threw cold water on rumors that the Minneapolis-based company would be a white knight for Great Western Financial. "We've been rumored to be doing due diligence on companies we never even looked at," he said. Page 5 BankAmerica's legacy in funding Hollywood motion pictures dates back to 1908, when a personal loan by its founder helped keep the producer of the Tarzan silents afloat. Page 4 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Financial institutions beefed up efforts to ensure that their brokerage employees inform customers about investment risk, according to a study by American Brokerage Consultants. Page 10 BHC Securities was thrashed by Wall Street and spurned by key clients a year ago. Today the Philadelphia transaction-clearing house is alive and well. Page 11 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs The Independent Bankers Association of America sent a letter to the attorney general supporting Visa in a Justice Department antitrust investigation. Page 12 TECHNOLOGY ON-LINE BANKING: Consumer resistance isn't all that bankers must overcome to make Internet services a reality. They also have to contend with their own industry's security experts. Page 13 MARKET MONITOR In what may be a sign of skepticism about the prices bank stocks have reached, insider sales have been running at a record-setting pace. Page 18 Investors have been snapping up great buys in the trust-preferred securities market by turning to less-well-known names in the banking industry. Back page
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