WASHINGTON The White House ended its search for a banker and plans instead to nominate a consultant and a college professor for two Fed vacancies. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Robust lending and stronger local economies helped a handful of western banks and thrifts meet or beat analysts' expectations for their earnings. Page 5 A top banking headhunter with Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading executive recruitment firm, discusses the state of hiring in the banking industry. Page 6 COMMUNITY BANKING Investors wanting a stake in Indiana's Old National Bancorp can now write a check to the banking company, rather than a broker, via its direct- purchase plan. Page 7 TECHNOLOGY Unisys has added a call-center application to its retail banking software system, FBA Navigator. Page 8 Nissan Motor's finance unit plans to test the Credit Connection service, which lets dealerships get decisions on loan applications in under a minute. Page 8 MORTGAGES More independent mortgage companies joined the ranks of the top 100 servicers last year, and they did so at the expense of thrifts. In 1995, 31 of the 100 largest servicers were thrifts. Last year, only 18 were among the top 100, versus 44 independents. Page 10 The market for mortgage securities continues to roar back. Wall Street securitized and sold more home loans in the first three months of this year than in any quarter of 1996. Page 12 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS INSURANCE: Commercial Union Life Insurance is rolling out to bank clients term, whole, and universal policies with relaxed underwriting requirements, hoping to make the sale of the products easier. Page 19 A lawsuit against Barnett Banks' securities subsidiary is shaping up as a test of the National Bank Act's authority over how banks sell securities. Page 20 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs BankAmerica won an electronic benefits transfer contract in California, but a protest from a losing bidder, to be addressed today, may derail the victory. Page 22 GE Capital Services signed an agreement to buy a "significant" stake in the smart card manufacturer Gemplus. Page 22 MARKET MONITOR Shareholders of Great Western Financial want their annual meeting to be held by May 6, more than a month earlier than the date recently set by the board. Back page
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