WASHINGTON Insurance industry representatives urged state lawmakers to support federal legislation allowing insurance firms to merge with banks. Page 2 By the end of the millennium, capital will let banks dominate securities firms and insurance companies, one executive says. Page 4 CORPORATE FINANCE Despite a sluggish first quarter, the leveraged loan market is expected to grow this year, fueled by fantastic levels of liquidity and rising investor demand. Page 5 J.P. Morgan is advising New York City on its $102 million sale of the U.N. Plaza Hotel. Page 5 REGIONAL BANKING In Atlanta, the big banks are getting bigger. Page 6 Norwest has a deal that could give it 22 new supermarket branches--almost its current total. Page 7 COMMUNITY BANKING Industry experts say succession planning should be a major priority for community bank boards of directors. Page 8 MORTGAGES Fleet held discussions to sell its mortgage banking unit to Countrywide Credit, a deal that would have created the nation's largest mortgage bank, but the talks reportedly broke down over price. H. Jay Sarles, Fleet Mortgage's chairman, wouldn't deny or confirm the talks. Page 12 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Dime Savings Bank of New York is planning to offer trust services by the end of this year to clients with about $150,000 of assets. Page 13 First Union launched a Family Trust program aimed at making life easier for its elderly clients. Page 13 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Some banks have gotten back in the merchant business, either on their own or by hooking up with third-party processors. But not all of the unions are successful. Page 14 American Express is cutting back the travel insurance coverage on its consumer and small-business corporate cards. Page 14 MARKET MONITOR When it comes to bank stock analysts, there are only bulls and superbulls these days. Page 21 Lenders can reasonably expect the Fed to raise interest rates a further quarter to half of a percentage point this year, a Fed economist told mortgage bankers. Page 27 WEEKLY REPORT: SMALL BUSINESS Zions Bancorp. of Utah has a deal to start marketing its SBA loans to West Coast clients of California Federal. Page 11
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