TURNING AROUND an institution whose return on assets is 0.66% is the task of John A. Ward 3d, American Express Bank's chairman and CEO. "We remain a niche bank, but we will increasingly become integrated with" the parent charge card company, he says. Page 8

WEEKLY REPORT: INTERNATIONAL

Banks may need to roll over their short-term loans to South Korean borrowers for longer than anticipated to resolve the country's debt crisis. Page 9

WASHINGTON

Healthy thrifts that do not belong to holding companies would no longer have to notify the OTS before paying cash dividends under a proposal issued by the agency. Page 3

REGIONAL BANKING

When Wachovia bought Richmond, Va.-based Central Fidelity Banks last month, it got a nice bonus: the latest in autodialing telephone technology. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING

When it comes to buying banks, Western Bancorp's chief financial officer takes no chances; he requires directors of any acquired bank to sign a contract promising not to organize a competing bank. Page 7

MORTGAGES

There's one way to solve the myriad problems at HUD, a Harvard University study says: Shut the agency down. Page 10

CORPORATE FINANCE

Bank of Nova Scotia, Merrill Lynch, and CIBC Oppenheimer are set to begin syndication of a $410 million loan to back construction of a new Aladdin hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Page 11

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

The man who built People's Bank into a national force in credit card marketing has joined a Connecticut rival, Webster Financial. Page 13

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

In a unique arrangement, American Express Financial Advisors has joined with a community development bank to sell financial advice as well as investment and insurance products. Page 16

TECHNOLOGY

Hewlett-Packard completed installation of an Internet banking system for Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. of Singapore. Page 19

MARKET MONITOR

Thrift stocks were jolted when Lehman Brothers delivered a large-scale downgrade to the savings and loan industry. Back page

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