WASHINGTON Uncle Sam would quickly come out ahead if it paid interest on reserves it makes banks keep with the Fed, an ABA study says. Page 2 Fees are climbing at big banks while dropping at small ones, according to a national survey. Page 2 MORTGAGES CMAC Investment will start insuring loans to A-minus borrowers, just a cut above subprime. Page 8 CORPORATE FINANCE Three vendors have launched on-line services to meet the increasing need for up-to-date information in the syndicated loan market. Page 11 Bankers Trust will help an air cargo company launch $100 million in junk debt. Page 11 TECHNOLOGY As electronic delivery methods grow more popular, bankers and technology companies are grappling with how to provide customer support services more efficiently. Page 14 REGIONAL BANKING CITIBANK is accelerating its futuristic branching push, using two-way video technology. Three months after it opened 24-hour self-service facilities in California and Illinois, the bank an-nounced plans for two new branches in New York. Page 3 Bigger is better, according to Mercantile Bancorp. The St. Louis company is flaunting its girth and independence in a series of television, radio, and newspaper advertisements around the Midwest. Page 3 Community banking BNCCORP, a North Dakota bank holding company, wrote off almost $1 million last quarter to cover allegedly fraudulent loans to a now bankrupt company. Page 6 An advisory firm hired by institutional investors is telling shareholders of an embattled New Jersey thrift company to vote against its management. Page 6 CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs Banc One is making sweeping changes to its Travel-Plus Visa card, slashing mileage rewards for cardholders who pay their balances in full each month. Page 12 With EBT near, Missouri is trying to coax at least 50% of its welfare recipients to open checking accounts. Reason: It costs 52 cents to cut a welfare check but only 10 cents to make a direct deposit. Page 13 MARKET MONITOR Novastar is the latest mortgage real estate investment trust to file for an initial public offering. Back page Money Store shares were downgraded because of rising losses and delinquencies in the company's auto-lending business. Back page
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