MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Has banking executives' pay gotten out of hand? Well, the best don't come cheap, and you don't want to waste money on mediocre talent, a recruiter advises. Centura Banks' CEO agrees: "The human side is where the real assets lie." Pullout section WASHINGTON Rep. Spencer Bachus says the administration's program to award banks seed money for low-income projects is rife with conflicts of interest. Page 2 CORPORATE FINANCE Investment banks are setting up more bridge loan funds. Page 5 REGIONAL BANKING More banks are offering low-minimum-balance deposit accounts. But they have a catch: Customers are charged for using tellers. Page 6 TECHNOLOGY First Data managed to soothe some investor jitters at its first meeting for analysts. Page 19 REAL ESTATE TRUSTS With nearly 200 to choose from, the trusts are big competitors for investors' dollars in today's stock market. And yield-hungry bankers have set aside wariness of the real estate business and are aggressively vying to build on their lending relationships in the investment trust industry. Pages 5, 31 MORTGAGES Great Western was cross-examined by Ahmanson in a deposition about how it chose June 13 as its annual meeting date. Page 12 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Consumers are giving bank credit card issuers the edge over nonbank competitors, a survey found. Page 16 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Oxford Bank, near Chicago, will give away America's hottest and rarest toy --Teeny Beanie Babies--to the first 500 people who open $1,000 child savings accounts. Page 17 MARKET MONITOR Bankers should be bracing themselves for higher interest rates, according to economists polled in the latest American Banker yield and rate survey. Page 25 Despite tumbling stock prices and bad news nearly every week, subprime auto lenders are still finding buyers for their asset-backed securities. Back page WEEKLY REPORT: SMALL BUSINESS Wachovia, Centura Banks, Norwest, and Bank of Montreal's Harris Bankcorp have recently formed venture capital units. Page 11
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