WASHINGTON

Banking and thrift regulators said they plan to overhaul rules governing loan chargeoffs, particularly in the area of consumer credit. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

A leading adviser on supermarket branching says fewer than 25% of banks with supermarket locations are truly successful. Page 4

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

The IBAA has ended its relationship with the third-party marketer, Fimark, it had tapped last year to sell fixed annuities to its member banks. Page 9

MORTGAGES

rising rates this month have slowed mortgage refinancing, which had surged in August. Page 10

CORPORATE FINANCE

Though the leveraged loan market continues to grow and merge with the high-yield bond market, barriers persist to their full convergence. Page 13

management strategies

In three years or so, by many accounts, call centers will integrate all sales and transaction channels and present the ultimate cross-selling opportunity for financial services. But just reciting the mantra "call center as profit center" won't make it happen.

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COMMUNITY BANKING

A Chicago thrift company whose deposits have steadily declined in the past year is promoting a no-penalty certificate of deposit to bring in cash. Page 14

Citizens National Bank of Texas wants to go public while the market for bank stocks is hot. Page 14

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Banks that issue commercial cards are gearing up for a record-keeping change: Some employees may no longer have to keep paper receipts for expenses. Page 18

Fleet cards, once dismissed as insignificant niche products, are attracting new levels of interest. Page 19

TECHNOLOGY

Hypercom said it filed with the SEC for an initial public offering of 11.25 million shares. Page 20

MARKET MONITOR

Important signs emerged that the economy remains robust-and that inflation is not dead. Page 29

WEEKLY REPORT: SMALL BUSINESS

Merrill Lynch is offering medical savings accounts for small-business employees. Page 15

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