WASHINGTON The Senate passed legislation that would make it easier for state-chartered banks to branch across state lines. Page 2 REGIONAL BANKING Florida bankers are launching a reward program to crack down on robberies. Page 6 Great Western Financial shareholders approved the thrift's merger with Washington Mutual. Page 6 INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Nationwide Life Insurance is beefing up the roster of products it sells through banks. Page 11 TECHNOLOGY American Management Systems is shaking off the malady that has recently hurt its stock. Page 14 MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TECHNOLOGY-savvy Toronto-Dominion has retail aspirations outside Canada, but they don't involve much brick-and-mortar. What kind of a rival will it be? "Retail banking is more competitive in Canada," a top executive says. "Our operating margins are much lower; we'd kill for yours." Magazine supplement CORPORATE FINANCE North American underwriters are sending junk overseas. And the issues have been snapped up by foreign investors looking for high yields. Page 12 MORTGAGES Thrifts nationwide are moving into subprime lending, but analysts and regulators warn they could find the volatile sector rough going. Page 16 Some servicers are going on-line to price their portfolios for sale, but the industry isn't exactly storming the Web just yet. Page 17 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs A Moody's analyst is sounding a warning about credit-card holders' growing tendency not to pay down their balances. Page 18 MARKET MONITOR Banks are finding privately held securities firms more attractive as acquisition targets. Page 25 shares of banking companies are charging ahead of the bull market. Back page WEEKLY REPORT: SMALL BUSINESS A New York company that finances taxicab licenses has a deal to buy one of the largest nonbank SBA lenders in the Northeast. Page 8 The Comptroller of the Currency said he wants banks to make more equity investments in small businesses in low- and moderate-income areas. Page 9
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