SPECIAL REPORT: M&A REVIEW Great Western swatted away its hostile suitor, H.F. Ahmanson, with the help of its battle-tested New York law firm, Skadden Arps, and some luck from Ahmanson's own miscues. Page 25 WASHINGTON Two House Banking Committee Republicans are pushing to let nonfinancial firms own a limited amount of banking assets. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Some banks are using their intranets to help employees switch jobs without switching employers. Page 5 MORTGAGES After retreating from the wholesale lending business in recent years, First Union is staging a dramatic comeback. Page 10 Heavy demand for data on subprime mortgage loans has prompted a conventional mortgage research firm to create a new data base. Page 11 COMMUNITY BANKING F&M Bancorp. of Wisconsin has big plans for the small-town markets of the Upper Midwest. CEO Gail E. Janssen says it will buy a small Minnesota bank as part of a growth plan that's been in the works for five years. He's also exploring acquisitions in Iowa and Illinois. Page 8 regulators have cracked down on a family-owned bank in South Carolina that holds more than half the deposits in the state's poorest county. Page 9 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS INSURANCE: Banks are gaining ground in their quest to sell insurance in Connecticut. Page 12 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Following other industries, banks and credit card companies are building expertise in "competitive intelligence." Page 16 Sears said it settled a class action over collection of debt from bankrupt cardholders. Page 16 TECHNOLOGY Financial services companies around the world spent 4% to 6% more last year, Ernst & Young says, but what's most important is what they spent it on. Page 17 Perot Systems beat out IBM and other bidders for the engineering team of Nets Inc. The electronic commerce company, run by Lotus' former CEO, sought bankruptcy protection last month Page 17 Most decent-size financial institutions have Web sites, and the few big holdouts see a need to get on the Net pronto. Page 18 MARKET MONITOR KeyCorp launched a $5 billion Euronote program. It's the latest in a series of big regional banks to tap foreign capital markets. Page 30
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