Most banks either lowered fees or kept them steady last year, according to a study the Federal Reserve Board sent Congress. Page 2


Wells Fargo has been sued by a senior-citizen customer who brought a class action to avoid losing his free checking account. Page 4


Bank of Commerce, the surging SBA lending specialist, believes it can overtake Money Store in that business and become the No. 1 bank in San Diego. Page 6


With credit scoring now in wider use, customizing the technology to mortgage companies' needs has become a top priority in the industry. Page 9

Jesse Jackson said he hopes to create a quasi-private-sector company similar to Fannie or Freddie that could generate low-cost capital to invest in low-income communities without raising taxes. Page 9


U.S. bondHOLDERS could have a nasty surprise if Japan's banks fail to recover from their economic woes, an analyst says. Investors are getting a good yield, but the risk may be too great. "We think the risk has become so high that several of these banks would pass on paying on their coupons," he says. Page 26

UBS Securities upgraded both companies in the BankAmerica-NationsBank deal, saying the combination would yield "one of the leading banks of the 21st century." Back page


U.S. banks looking for exposure in international asset management are generally holding off on acquisitions in favor of forming partnerships with overseas players. Page 10


J.P. Morgan has boosted the pricing of a $2.25 billion loan it is syndicating for Meditrust, bankers close to the deal said. Page 11


The most interesting yet unexplored competition issue arising from ATM surcharging has to do with how financial institutions compete, a federal official writes. Page 12


First Union said it expects its new data warehouse to increase revenue by more than $100 million annually. Page 17

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