WASHINGTON

Regulators are considering several changes to market risk rules that could reduce the amount of capital large trading banks hold.

The Fed and the securities industry are both opposing a national bank's application to underwrite municipal revenue bonds.

COMMUNITY BANKING

Connecticut - its banking industry ravaged by failures and a wave of mergers-could soon become home to three new banks.

REGIONAL BANKING

Ohio's Provident Bancorp. and Huntington Bancshares announced deals to buy Florida banks.

Within days of publicly declaring their plans to buy a Miami-based banking company, officials with Barnett said the deal is dead.

INTERNATIONAL

An international trade group, a technology vendor, and a bank plan to test a new credit card-based payment system that bypasses letters of credit.

The 44th annual International Monetary Conference in Switzerland, which starts Sunday, is the world's leading summit on commercial banking. "It's a great opportunity to look at some of the global issues that are facing the banking industry," says Eugene A. Miller, chairman and CEO of Comerica.

MORTGAGES

Fannie Mae has launched a marketing blitz to promote reverse mortgages.

FOCUS ON SUBPRIME LENDING

Recent trouble in the subprime auto sector has had a chilling effect. Banks that were on the prowl to buy subprime lenders have backed off, and those that owned subprime businesses are selling. At the same time, entrepreneurial financiers like Leon Black have been willing to pay a premium to acquire the units.

TECHNOLOGY

ON-LINE BANKING: The Microsoft-based system Virtuabanker, developed by a four-person shop in Malaysia, is getting high marks from U.S. technology experts.

MARKET MONITOR

raising eyebrows in the financial sector, franchise king HFS and direct marketing leader CUC International said they would merge in a stock swap valued at $11 billion.

Several major banks denied market rumors that they would issue a controversial new security meant to sidestep pending legislation against "corporate welfare."

Shareholders approved the merger of Dean Witter, Discover and Morgan Stanley Group.

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