WASHINGTON Bankers have found a lot to hate in the financial reform bill passed last week by the House Banking Committee. The debate over financial reform shifts to the House Commerce Committee today as its finance subcommittee holds a hearing on regulation of bank insurance sales. REGIONAL BANKING A veteran of Synovus Financial has been helping the Columbus, Ga., banking company make advances in alternative delivery of retail banking products for the past three decades. ABN Amro North America plans to close 19 Chicago offices as a result of some recent acquisitions. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS INSURANCE: Pacific Mutual Life's entry into the world of banks, where it sells variable annuities, has been slow and steady. THE KeyChoice lifestyle asset allocation funds, which used to invest only in KeyCorp's proprietary funds, now also invest in three third-party funds. COMMUNITY BANKING Elouise Cobell's only desire was for a small bank to provide financial services for her and her neighbors on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northern Montana. Last week Ms. Cobell, who founded Blackfeet National 10 years ago, was chosen as a MacArthur Fellow. It's not every quarter that a community banking company issues a $15-a- share dividend. But that's what Chicago's Mid-City Financial will dole out to its exclusive shareholders next week. MORTGAGES WALL STREET WATCH: As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac push into the booming market for subprime mortgages, lenders are reacting with everything from wholehearted support to bitter protest. TECHNOLOGY Sun Microsystems is offering a bundle of software development tools, services, and other resources for delivering financial services securely over the Internet. Informix Software, a leading supplier of data base technology, opened a New York development facility geared toward financial services. MARKET MONITOR Ever seeking out new worlds to explore, securitizers have moved into the unlikely area of prescription drug receivables. Investors have been piling into Advanta's bonds in the past week as takeover rumors swirl around the Pennsylvania-based credit card issuer. plummeted as news of Japanese intentions prompted a bond market selloff.
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