The OTS is expected to let Travelers charter a federal thrift next week. The big question is what special conditions the agency will place on the New York-based insurer. Page 2


Wachovia bought United Bancorp of Boca Raton, the biggest community bank based in Florida's Palm Beach County. Page 4


The Farm Credit System hinders competition for agricultural lending, a consultant told farm bankers gathered in Milwaukee for their annual convention. The government-sponsored lending cooperative could "really start stealing business," Bert Ely said. He called for privatization. Page 6


California Federal is considering an initial public offering early next year, its CEO says. That could set the stage for sale of the thrift, owned by financier Ronald Perelman. Page 8

CIT Group, the commercial finance giant, hit the equity market with an $850.5 million initial public offering that will let Chase liquidate its 20% stake. Page 9


Fidelity is adding server computer centers to double on-line trading capacity. Page 10


Joseph DeLuca, an icon of real estate finance, resigned as managing director and division executive in Chase's real estate finance group. Page 11


For the first time in four years, California has reported a quarterly decline in bankruptcy filings. Page 12


M&I Data Services is introducing software designed to help financial institutions cross-sell through branches and call centers. Page 14

Mellon Bank, an early adopter of electronic data interchange technology, plans to replace its aging mainframe-based EDI system with a client-server system from Premenos Technology. Page 14


Banking analysts are arguing that key distinctions exist between what U.S. banks are doing in the investment banking arena and Barclays PLC's ill-fated investment in BZW. Page 22

Bank stocks ended higher after an unusually fidgety trading session, as investors tried to decide whether share prices fully reflect banks' exposure to global economic problems. Back page

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