The U.S. asset totals at some big European banks surged to new highs last year, but some beleaguered Japanese banks cut back, according to an American Banker survey. Page 8


Advocates for creditors and debtors disagreed sharply over bankruptcy reform, although both sides conceded that some changes are warranted. Page 4


Bankers Trust is disbanding its centralized risk management group and dispatching the troops to client-focused units. Page 7


When he ran New York's Green Point Savings, Michael Gagliardi had a marketing staff. But as CEO of Ironbound BankCorp in Newark, N.J., he writes his own ads-in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Page 15


As the commercial mortgage-backed securities market matures, the rating agencies are sharpening their focus on underwriting standards. Page 16


Riggs National hired the former head of Signet Banking's brokerage and other executives to bolster sales of Riggs' proprietary mutual funds. Page 21


Dash, an ATM network formed two years ago for small Arkansas banks, plans to branch out. Page 22


The housing industry's Big Three associations are backing a dramatic increase in the ceiling on loans insurable under the FHA program. Page 23


ON-LINE BANKING: Online Resources and Communications, known mainly as a vendor of home banking technology to community banks, is stepping up its marketing to brokerages and regional banks. Page 26


BankAmerica and Electronic Data Systems have developed a system for taking state and local tax payments over the phone. Page 27


SunTrust, a perennial bystander to Southeast consolidation, may be preparing to join the fray. Back page

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