Half of all CRA ratings are inflated, but there are significant differences by region, a Florida consultant claims. Page 4


With its hefty compensation and deal-making excitement, investment banking continues to draw MBAs with finance skills, according to campus placement officers. Page 5


Kentucky's top bank regulator admonished the state's bankers for not backing changes to the state's branching laws. Page 7

The merger of HFNC Financial and First Charter Corp. would create a company ranking sixth in deposits in the Charlotte, N.C., area. Page 7


Loan Pricing Corp. and Intralinks-which once talked of forming an alliance-bring their heated feud to New York Supreme Court today. Page 8


Shareholder activist Seymour Holtzman is at it again. His target this time: Ambanc Holding Co. in Amsterdam, N.Y. Its board of directors "must answer to investors" for the $500 million-asset bank's $200,000 loss in three years and its efficiency ratio of 69.81%, he says. Page 38

Wells Fargo shares fell with a thud as merger speculators lost patience. Back page


INSURANCE: Banks are not alone in offering third-party mutual funds to keep their customers' assets-insurers are doing it too. Page 13


Platinum cards are delivering on their promise as the most profitable type of bank cards, with gold cards and cobranded products close behind. Page 22


Critics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac turned up the heat at an all-day conference organized by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Page 26


ELECTRONIC COMMERCE: Banc One has become the first member of the Integrion home banking consortium to say it will take advantage of newly available bill presentment capabilities. Page 27


First Global Commerce, an ambitious alliance that Hewlett-Packard started last year, has a new name, a boldly stated agenda, and 10 new members. Page 29

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