WASHINGTON

Lawmakers, lenders, and consumer advocates agreed Wednesday that mortgage disclosures are confusing and ineffective, but clashed over how to solve the problem. Page 2

When the comptroller wants to know how the outside world will react to an agency initiative, he leans into Chris Lewis' office. Page 3

COMMUNITY BANKING

First Banks Inc. of St. Louis is on the lookout for acquisitions to fill in its California franchise. Page 7

A group of investors trying to start City National Bank in Texas says its venture will prove it's safe to get back into local bank stocks. Page 7

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

First Chicago NBD could haul in big profits by selling insurance from the Hartford, but there may be a downside, too. Page 10

MORTGAGES

Countrywide is spending heavily to cultivate its brand image, and other big home lenders are doing the same. Page 14

REGIONAL BANKING

Former Chase Manhattan senior vice chairman Edward D. Miller will take the reins at Equitable Cos. as chief executive officer. Page 8

A growing nation-al consumer credit business helped fuel a 13% secondquarter earnings increase at Barnett Banks. Page 8

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Honor Technologies, which connects more ATMs than any other regional banking network, is buying MasterCard's BankMate network. Page 17

TECHNOLOGY

ON-LINE BANKING: A coalition that includes American Express, First Data, and MetLife launched a campaign for what it calls consistent and equitable digital signature laws. Page 18

Citicorp agreed to buy a nonmajority stake in Meca Software, known for its Managing Your Money personal finance software. Page 18

MARKET MONITOR

Banks are expected to tap the capital markets this month as the cost of raising capital declines. Page 26

WEEKLY REPORT: INTERNATIONAL

Rising competition for project finance ventures is pushing banks and investment banks into riskier deals and prompting capital market investors to ignore the potential pitfalls, banking sources warn. Page 12

The New York State Banking Department has tightened its supervision of foreign banks doing business in the state. Page 13

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