Merger activity is heating up in Connecticut, the straggler in New England's economic recovery. Two out-of-state banking companies announced acquisition deals. Page 5


Cityscape Financial filed a libel suit against The Times of London, which published a scathing article accusing the subprime lender of improper lobbying and links with shady people. Page 6


Keystone Financial, a midsize Pennsylvania bank, worried that it could lose customers if it referred them to employee benefits consulting firms. So it bought one. Page 7

Firstar of Milwaukee rounded out its menu with a fund that will invest in small companies. "If we were ever going to open a small-cap fund, now is the time," says the co-manager. Page 7


Gemplus, the French smart card company, has teamed up with IBM for development and marketing. "This alliance is importantfor the industry," said Gemplus' Dominique Trempont. It is "about leveraging smart card technology in the marketplace and putting it in the hands of everyone." Page 14

Giesecke & Devrient is the latest smart card manufacturer to back the Java programming interface for cards. Page 14

An Upgraded International Verifact point of sale terminal will be used by Bank of Nova Scotia for its Visa Cash smart card program. Page 14


The insurance industry provides some attractive targets for leveraged buyout firms, but there's a special problem. One buyout artist found a way to get banks to help. Page 8

Bank of Nova Scotia closed a $900 million credit facility for Warnaco, an apparel maker that is on the prowl for acquisitions. Page 8


E-Trade Group, the on-line investment broker, will let customers move $1,000 to $10,000 a day from their personal checking accounts into on-line trading accounts using National Processing's VirtualPay Internet funds transfer system. Page 9


Spreads on interest rate swaps have widened dramatically in recent weeks, providing an unexpected boost to big bank trading operations. Page 22

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