SPECIAL REPORT: West Coast Thrift Wars Washington Mutual's bid for Great Western will be a major test of CEO Kerry Killinger's skill as an acquirer. Page 5 The emergence of a white knight echoes the November 1995 battle for control of Los Angeles-based First Interstate. Page 5 WASHINGTON The FDIC is developing a computer program that could make it easier for examiners to spot discrimination in lending. Page 2 Federally chartered thrifts would have posted record profits last year if not for the costly bailout of the industry's insurance fund. Page 2 COMMUNITY BANKING Tying a director's compensation to company performance--a concept sweeping corporate America--is slowly making its way into community bank circles. Page 3 A pair of former big-bank executives launched an investment fund that will specialize in the stock of small California-based banks. Page 3 MORTGAGES delinquencies rose at yearend after three quarters of de-clines, according to a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Late payments climbed 21 basis points to 4.37%, and industry experts say they don't expect the rates to decrease anytime soon. Page 7 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS The former bank sales chief at Fidelity left his job at New England Funds after just six months. Page 6 South Dakota, known as a favorable place to manage trusts, established a charter fee. Page 6 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Procard overhauled its technical systems and added four major banks to its client list. Page 8 The Federal Trade Commission is studying how personal data is collected, sold, and used. Page 8 TECHNOLOGY Banks could boost their bottom line $2.6 billion by updating check- processing systems, a report says. Page 10 A Georgia firm received what it claims is the first patent for a PC-based check-imaging system. Page 10 CORPORATE FINANCE BankAmerica and four other banks secured more than $300 million in commitments for the Northern Telecom vendor financing. Page 17 MARKET MONITOR Though banks are reporting peak earnings, they may be due for a fall, an analyst contends. Page 18 California bank stocks barely budged on news of a bidding war in their territory. Page 20
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