The FDIC, which hasn't added examiners since 1992, plans to hire 150 of them next year. Page 2


In a memo to employees, Wells Fargo chairman Paul Hazen downplayed comments that spurred merger talk. Wells has always said it would "consider offers if the price was right," he wrote. "We have made statements like this since the mid-1980s, and they have never implied we are engaged in acquisition discussions." Page 7


Acting more like a big bank than a community bank, a $464 million-asset Kansas bank has agreed to buy a brokerage firm that helps manage $3 billion of assets. Page 8


Dominion Resources of Richmond, Va., has hired more defectors from the U.S. merchant banking arm of Paris-based Credit Agricole Indosuez, including a senior managing director. Page 9


Mego Mortgage is the latest specialty lender to take a multimillion dollar hit because customers are prepaying loans faster than expected. Page 10

As profit margins in the mortgage banking business erode, more companies like SunTrust and First Tennessee are looking to the mortgage insurance industry for income. Page 11


ChequeMark Technologies is hurling patent-infringement accusations at several companies that process check transactions at the point of sale. Page 13

First Union has turned to Electronic Data Systems to help with technology conversions required for the Signet and Covenant mergers. Page 13


Mondex Canada has found someone uniquely qualified to be its first president. Her previous job was also as the first president of a national payment association. Page 17

CARD FRONTIERS: Schlumberger announced what may be the biggest deployment of smart card devices in North America: a deal to convert 50,000 coin-operated laundry machines over two years. Page 17


In a reshuffling of executives, PNC Bank named Michael Mortensen chief executive officer of its PNC Brokerage unit. Page 18


Gerard Klauer Mattison raised its target price on Norwest, praising its acquisition strategy, product diversity, and marketing skills. Back page

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