A plan that would significantly expand IRAs is expected to be diluted during upcoming negotiations between lawmakers and the White House. Page 2

A former banker is trying to create a virtual trade group on the Web for compliance officers at banks, insurance companies, and securities firms. Page 4


Mortgage-backed securities are becoming more mainstream as banks, insurers, and pension funds make them key components of portfolios. Page 6

Some investment bankers are saying that Headlands Mortgage may be on the auction block. Page 7


Provident Financial turned in one of the best performances among small to midsize regional banks in Ohio. Page 8

A small but growing number of bankers are focusing on loans to religious organizations. Page 9


Regulators worry about new trends in the structuring of syndicated credits, the deputy comptroller for risk evaluation said at an American Banker symposium. The levels of default risk remain manageable, said G. Scott Calhoun, but "we remain concerned where the pricing does not appear to adequately reflect risk." Page 11

High-yield bonds underwritten by commercial banks could carry wider spreads than those handledby investment banks, a recent Merrill Lynch studyconcluded. Page 11


In a first for Pennsylvania, Kishocoquillas Valley National Bank is buying an insurer. Page 10

A federal judge rejected Capital Cities/ABC's request for relief from a $10 million libel award to a Florida bank and its chairman. Page 10


INSURANCE: QuickQuote, a Nevada companythat offers Internet quotes and comparisons for term life insurance and fixed annuities, says it is establishing itself with banks. Page 19


Making a rare addition to its palette, American Express introduced a credit card of a new hue-blue-directed at young people worldwide. Page 22


Meca Software plans to expand on Aug. 1the technical support it offers for on-line bankingprograms. Page 26


A DEAL to acquire Oppenheimer & Co. would be typical of CIBC Wood Gundy, but the Canadian firm could face an outflow of talent, some analysts warn. Page 34

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