FOCUS ON BRANDING BankBoston is aiming to join the retail banking elite. KeyCorp of Cleveland is suing Maryland's Key Bank and Trust over its use of the Key name. Aim Management Group launched a nationwide television and print advertising campaign. WASHINGTON Protests by a New York City community activist group could delay the sale of BankAmerica's consumer finance unit to Travelers Group. Excel Communications, the nation's fourth-largest long-distance phone company, has applied for a savings bank charter. COMMUNITY BANKING A Florida thrift holding company is entering the real estate development business. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Pershing added mutual funds managed by Scudder, Stevens & Clark to its fund supermarket. REGIONAL BANKING Sanford I. Weill, chairman of Travelers Group, has finally gotten a piece of BankAmerica. The agreement for Travelers to buy BankAmerica's consumer finance unit for $1.6 billion came 11 years after Mr. Weill made a bold but unsuccesful bid to control the San Francisco banking company. CORPORATE FINANCE Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette is leading a $100 million bond-loan hybrid for Pioneer Americas. BankAmerica is leading a $1 billion syndicated loan for Avantel Brazil, which it is billing as the largest Brazilian corporate loan to date. MORTGAGES With automated valuation, some are wondering whether computers will replace real estate appraisers. Originations by two of the largest mortgage lenders fell in May as higher interest rates continued to reduce demand. TECHNOLOGY Fleet Financial Group expects its data warehouse to help add between $50 million and $100 million in annual net income by 2001. A ST. Louis firm that spent the past four years developing a campus smart card system has begun marketing it to banks. MARKET MONITOR The number of mutual thrifts planning to go public has dropped sharply this year despite strong market conditions and investor demand. The stock market surged, with bank stocks along for the ride, after news of weaker-than-expected spring retail sales quieted concerns about higher interest rates.

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