REGIONAL BANKING

Great Western's advertising agency will stay on-at least through the fall campaign-to promote what is now Washington Mutual's Great Western brand. Page 3

COMMUNITY BANKING

a growing North Dakota community banking company is buying its first bank holding company in Arizona. Page 6

A North Carolina banking company wooing a neighbor has been rejected a second time. This time they couldn't even agree how big the offer was. Page 6

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Visa International has filled the last senior-level vacancy in its global support services group, and the job is bigger than originally advertised. Page 8

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

More banks may follow Merrill Lynch in buying 401(k) record-keeping companies to bolster their presence in the retirement business. Page 11

WASHINGTON

The thrift indus-try keeps shrinking, and so did its profits in the second quarter. A bigger tax tab hurt, but otherwise earnings were comparable to the record levels of a year earlier. "Earnings have been steady for the past six quarters," said OTS Director Nicolas P. Retsinas. "This is a reflection of our strong economy." Page 2

Congressional supporters of credit unions offered an olive branch to banks. Page 2

MORTGAGES

NationsBank's and Barnett's consumer finance units both lend to people the banks turn down-but that's where the similarity ends. Page 10

The MBA just might lure a top mortgage bank executive for its top staff job. Page 10

corporate finance

As the high-yield market continues to surge, more banks are linking their high-yield and emerging-markets shops. Page 12

TECHNOLOGY

ON-LINE BANKING: Consolidated Edison, a New York City electricity utility, is letting its customers view and pay bills on its own Web site. Page 13

Bisys Group plans to buy into Open Solutions and become the exclusive outsourcing provider of its client/server banking software. Page 13

MARKET MONITOR

Finland's largest bank is preparing to join a growing list of foreign banks issuing in the United States the hybrid securities known as step-up perpetuals. Back page

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