REGIONAL BANKING

Associated Banc-Corp of Green Bay, Wis., estimated merger charges from its deal for in-state rival First Financial would be at least $40 million. But those charges totaled $90 million after taxes. Page 4

CORPORATE FINANCE

NationsBank launched syndication of a $75 million loan for Headway Corporate Resources, a human resources firm specializing in financial services. Page 5

COMMUNITY BANKING

Still months from opening for business, Massachusetts-based South Shore Community Bank is going public. Page 8

MORTGAGES

The dust seems to be settling in the home equity sector after a rash of fourth-quarter earnings reports that investors said were like land mines. Page 9

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

A small bank in Oregon created its first mutual fund with an eye toward maintaining its customer base. Page 10

WASHINGTON

As director of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Ellen W. Lazar oversees one of the administration's most cherished initiatives-a program that provides grants to banks and other financial institutions for community lending. Page 2

The house Commerce Committee is offering pro-bank additions to its financial reform bill. Page 2

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

Some legislators in New Hampshire want the state motto-"Live Free or Die"-to apply to automated teller machines. Page 13

TECHNOLOGY

ON-LINE BANKING: Financial companies are beginning to learn from their experience on the Internet how to put more punch into their marketing messages, according to speakers at a roundtable organized by the Advertising Club of New York. Page 14

MARKET MONITOR

Cowen & Co., one of Wall Street's last private partnerships, is up for auction, and a deal could be announced next week. Page 22

Chase Manhattan's share price could hit $150 within 18 months, a Salomon Smith Barney analyst says in a report. Back page

WEEKLY REPORT: INTERNATIONAL

Four months into the Asian financial cyclone, Australians are hoping that the worst of the storm will bypass them. Page 6

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