DAVID F. KVEDERIS left Wells Fargo Bank last year to become an electronic payments entrepreneur. His company, Bankserv, wants to turn years of bankers' talk into action by enabling merchants to convert checks into automatic debits. WASHINGTON A group of bank economists urged the Fed to raise short-term interest rates this summer by a quarter of a point. A chorus of critics is knocking the proposed National Council on Financial Services as bureaucratic, toothless, and inherently biased. REGIONAL BANKING Peoples Heritage Financial Group of Portland, Maine, appears to be following a three-pronged acquisition plan. COMMUNITY BANKING Credit unions' share draft accounts are growing, and bankers aren't happy about it. CORPORATE FINANCE National City is offering small companies a way to manage interest rates on their borrowings without the hassle of handling derivatives. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS First Chicago NBD plans a series of focus groups next month to assess whether its customers would buy universal life insurance if the bank offered it. A 12-year veteran of U.S. Trust who managed the embattled Doris Duke estate has jumped to Bankers Trust. MORTGAGES Home equity lender Contifinancial made a bigger commitment to commercial mortgage lending with three purchases this week. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance is asking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to resume rewarding consumers who finance their mortgage insurance. CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs A SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT at Star Banc has left the industry to run a resort in the Fiji Islands. MARKET MONITOR many managers in the subprime auto finance industry once worked at the same place and remain clustered around the same city-Chicago.

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