WASHINGTON COMMERCIAL BANKS in the United States earned a record $52.4 billion last year, despite growing losses on consumer loans. Page 2 WORRIED that banks may not be preparing well enough for a down cycle, the comptroller told examiners to spend more time reviewing credit practices. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Washington Mutual laid out the details of its deal with Great Western, challenging Ahmanson to prove its bid is better. Page 3 First Union says it will turn 2,000 traditional branches into high-tech self-service centers. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING A Northern California bank recorded its first yearly loss in at least 55 years after its new CEO took action against some stubborn bad assets. Page 5 Banks hard hit by recent floods find themselves playing an intimate role in rebuilding their customers' homes and businesses. Page 5 MORTGAGES Marc Turtletaub took over Money Store Inc. from his father eight years ago. Since then it has been changing fast--from a traditional home equity lender to a new-age finance company. "It's critical to diversify," Mr. Turtletaub says. "We don't want to become a one-trick pony." Page 6 HUD is probing claims of fraud in the reverse-mortgage industry. Page 7 TECHNOLOGY A second company has entered the business of making ATM-like terminals dedicated to loan sales. Page 10 The head of Chase's check and commercial loan operations plans to retire this month. Page 10 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Harris Bank is going full throttle into private banking--with a former Boatmen's exec at the wheel. Page 11 chase is the latest U.S. firm to eye Japan as a new frontier for selling mutual funds. Page 11 CORPORATE FINANCE Royal Bank of Canada's new CFO earned his stripes outside the banking industry. Page 17 BOK Financial of Oklahoma has applied for section 20 powers. Page 17 MARKET MONITOR bank stocks continued their tumble as more news fanned fears of a rate hike. Back page Smith Barney is applying a controversial new analytical tool to evaluate financial companies--and may be starting a trend. Back page
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