BANK-OPERATED fund programs, a mere sketch five years ago, have developed into richly detailed paintings, with the brush strokes varying from bold to delicate. Some banks are reinventing the business, some growing through acquisitions, and some are positioning themselves for the future. Pullout section


Sen. Tom Harkin is again delaying a Senate vote on Fed nominees. It is part of his effort to force a debate over the central bank's monetary policies. Page 2

Planning ahead can help banks win age discrimination suits over merger layoffs, experts say. Page 2


Banker Trust earnings jumped 22% in the third quarter, fueled by strong trading revenues and Alex. Brown. Page 5

The nation's 300 largest banks tightened their grip on deposits and assets over the last year, as acquisitions made the concentration of market share more pronounced. Page 6


Hubco of New Jersey is buying Poughkeepsie Financial in New York for $136 million - about 1.84 times book value. Page 14

The North Carolina Bankers Association is refunding its members' dues this year, though its roster no longer includes the five largest banking companies. Page 14


Great yield, less covenants: They're "covenant-lite" loans, and institutional investors are lining up for more. Page 15


Bob Spadafora of Independent Financial, a third-party investment marketer, knew he was in a whole new situation after visiting International Bank of Commerce branches in Texas and not hearing a word of English. Page 16


NationsBank opened retail mortgage offices in Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester early this year. By the end of last month they had all been shut down. Page 17


Community bankers attending the Microbanker '97 conference in Texas expressed concern about their ability to keep up with technological change. Page 18

A leading Mexican bank has become the first in Latin America to make a public commitment to the Secure Electronic Transaction, or SET, protocol. Page 18


Weeks after Visa executives boasted of having nearly clinched an endorsement deal with Major League Baseball, MasterCard International has walked away with the contract. Page 19


More derivatives dealers are trying to jump-start the market for credit derivatives by offering potential customers free credit risk measurement tools. Page 26

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