WASHINGTON The vice chairman of Republic National in New York said bank customers would not object to a scaling back of federal deposit insurance. Page 2 Credit card marketers and other financial services firms may face new restrictions on their vast stores of customer data. Page 4 COMMUNITY BANKING First Colorado Bancorp, the state's largest thrift, agreed to acquire tiny Delta Federal Savings for $5.5 million in stock. Page 8 MORTGAGES A report estimates that lower credit costs could boost California's thrift earnings, on average, by 26% this year. Page 10 Beneficial Financial, a worldwide giant in consumer finance, may be a takeover target. Page 12 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs French-owned smart card manufacturers were in the forefront of the technology extravaganza at the Cardtech/Securtech conference in Orlando. Page 14 REGIONAL BANKING bankS are hiring well-known names from outside the industry to help build new customer relationships. NationsBank signed William "Billy" Porter Payne, chief executive officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, to turn his contacts into business. Page 6 CITICORP hired a Putnam Investments executive, Peter Carman, as chairman of its sprawling global asset management division. Page 6 MORE Banks see major league sports as the way to get the biggest bang for their marketing bucks. Page 7 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS INSURANCE: Allstate is finding that selling life policies through banks is easier said than done. Page 16 Microsoft launched the fourth version of its Investor Web site in less than a year. Page 17 TECHNOLOGY In a banking climate where analysts expect payment system technology companies to flourish, Transaction Systems Architects is doing just that. Page 18 ON-LINE BANKING: IBM's efforts to promote its technical standard for home banking may complicate arriving at a single industry standard. Page 20 MARKET MONITOR Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, the financial vehicle run by billionaire Warren E. Buffett, are still bullish on bank stocks, despite news that he recently lightened his position in Wells Fargo. Page 25 By passing up another chance to increase short-term rates last week, the Fed sent bankers and investors back to the mode of watchful waiting that prevailed through the summer of 1996. Page 25

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