WASHINGTON Mergers between banks and commercial firms pose no risk to the financial system, the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee says. Page 2 State regulators gathered in San Diego for their annual convention to continue working toward interstate branching. Page 4 REGIONAL BANKING The former president of H.F. Ahmanson says taking nearly a year off after leaving the thrift was the best thing he could have done. Page 5 Bankers Trust is making the securities processing business an important part of its strategy. Page 6 MORTGAGES A new securitization vehicle called a Fasit could make it easier for banks to build up their home equity lending. Page 11 TECHNOLOGY Chase Manhattan has chosen a little-known Albuquerque software firm, More Inc., to provide a new computing system for 6,000 teller stations. Page 17 Digicash wants to be taken seriously. The developer of E-cash for digital payments on the Internet hired Visa veteran Michael Nash as CEO for just that reason. "Digicash has always had terrific technology," he said. "It had grown to the point where professional management was needed." Page 16 COMMUNITY BANKING community banks are becoming avid investors in their own companies through stock repurchase programs. Page 12 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Visa U.S.A. pledged at least $1 million to the relief efforts of the American Red Cross for flood victims in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Page 13 The former head of the Gulfnet electronic banking network, which recently merged with Pulse EFT Association, has started a consulting company. Page 13 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS INSURANCE: A Minnesota insurance company plans to buy a local thrift to recapture some of the money it pays out to policyholders each year. Page 15 MARKET MONITOR The new president of the NASD says he may recommend it eliminate the boards of directors of its two subsidiaries to streamline decision-making. Page 22 Alex. Brown & Sons announced a reorganization of its fixed-income operation in preparation for its merger with Bankers Trust New York. Back page The planned sale of First Michigan to Huntington Bancshares illustrates that the days of big premiums for shareholders at small and midsize banks being acquired by bigger banks are coming to an end. Back page
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