Heeding credit quality warnings by regulators, bankers are taking steps to protect their portfolios from an economic downturn. Page 4


SunTrust Banks Inc. said it will consolidate 18 telebanking centers into four expanded locations to strengthen service and sales while streamlining operations. Page 5


The combination of Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers created a formidable force in the high-yield market. Salomon Smith Barney took fifth place in junk bond underwriting for 1997 and scooped up an 8.4% market share. "We've done transactions we historically might not have lead-managed before," said Chad Leat, co-head of high-yield capital markets. Page 7


INSURANCE: Union Bank of California is diving headfirst into the insurance products business with new product offerings. Page 8

The head of Hibernia National Bank's insurance business has left less than a year after he was hired to start the operation. Page 8


With a busy year of acquisitions behind it, National City is poised to join the heavyweights of mortgage originators in 1998. Page 10


A California court has dismissed Westamerica Bancorp's unfair competition complaint against a longtime local banker but left the way open for it to sue him for return of its severance package. Page 12

An investor succeeded in halting Abigail Adams National Bancorp's planned acquisition of a Virginia bank. Page 12


KeyCorp and Nova Information Systems said they will form a joint merchant processing venture. Page 13

American Express is out to enhance its relationship with corporate clients through a new joint venture with a company that specializes in employee incentives. Page 13


Deluxe, continuing to diversify from its core check-printing operations, has launched upgraded marketing software. Page 14

IBM said it has an agreement in principle for its first bank outsourcing deal in Japan, a 10-year contract with Daiwa Bank Ltd. Page 14


Bucking the recent negative atmosphere surrounding money-centers, shares of Citicorp rose as Credit Suisse First Boston initiated coverage with a "buy" recommendation. Back page

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