WASHINGTON

The Fed released data showing consumers rely heavily on the annual percentage rate when choosing a mortgage, although few understand the figure. Page 2

The House Commerce Committee wrapped up hearings on pending financial reform legislation with a key lawmaker pledging to tighten regulation of bank securities sales. Page 2

COMMUNITY BANKING

Wisconsin's Fortress Bancshares is trying to recover after two 1996 acquisitions drove up its operating expenses and took a chunk out of first- half 1997 earnings. Page 5

REGIONAL BANKING

Second-quarter earnings at large regional banks were, on average, 10% higher than in 1996, according to a research firm. Page 6

MARKET MONITOR

A Chicago bank is owed millions in unsecured debt from a bankrupt subprime auto lender. Back page

INTERNATIONAL

Building on its well-established Brazilian operation, BankBoston plans 15 new branches there in the next 18 months. "We have a strong position at the top end of the market, and the idea is to build on our strengths," says the bank's president, Henrique de Campos Mereilles. Page 9

CORPORATE FINANCE

Fleet Financial Group is planning a bank meeting for its $425 million leveraged loan to back an acquisition by textile maker Joan Fabrics. Page 10

MORTGAGES

HOME EQUITY: Mark Oman-the top executive at Norwest Mortgage since 1989- in March took on a new title and a mission to expand cross-selling of other bank services to mortgage customers. Page 11

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

First Union's brand marketing crusade staked out new territory this week with ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Page 14

TECHNOLOGY

Several influential companies in the financial industry are buying Sony's new Fingerprint Identification Unit. Page 16

M&A MIDYEAR REVIEW

mergers were hot in the first half, and experts expect more sizzle in the second half. Tables show the first half's biggest deals and leading advisers. Pullout section

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.