WASHINGTON

A Small Business Administration proposal would require banks selling the nonguaranteed portion of 7(a) loans to retain a percentage of the credit. Page 2

REGIONAL

BankAmerica shareholders at the annual meeting aired worries about the proposed merger with NationsBank, such as the difference in management styles. "You are going to see the same types of financial discipline ... that we have had in the past," said BankAmerica CEO David A. Coulter. Page 5

MONTHLY REPORT: MORTGAGE TECHNOLOGY

Fleet Mortgage Group has joined a growing number of institutions that are using systems to manage interest rate risk. Page 7

MORTGAGES

Since buying Great Western Financial last July, Washington Mutual has trumpeted its ambition to be California's leading mortgage lender. But Bank of America has remained firmly in the lead. Page 8

COMMUNITY

A Pennsylvania bank is opening a unit specifically to target the Philadelphia area's growing Asian population. Page 10

CARDS

Credit card fraud rates have dropped so low that some people are wondering if they are reaching a limit. Page 16

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

In a strategy it hopes will help jump-start sales of its proprietary mutual funds, Riggs National plans to have a broker-dealer up and running within three months. Page 19

DIGITAL FRONTIERS

ELECTRONIC COMMERCE: A two-year-old company, eCharge, is promoting an on-line payment method that it claims is simpler and more practical than some of the digital cash and credit card approaches on the Internet commerce market. Page 21

Verisign and Lotus said they are teaming up to offer banks and other multinational enterprises the strongest available form of data encryption. Page 21

TECHNOLOGY

The initial public offering of Carreker-Antinori raised the profile - and the war chest - of a company bent on transforming the nation's payment system from paper to electronics. Page 20

MARKET MONITOR

Investors searching for a fresh strategy for buying bank stocks may need to look no further than the familiar Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. Page 29

Federal Reserve monetary policy officials aren't due to meet again for five weeks, but investors have already resumed worrying about higher interest rates. Page 29

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