Banks with large, interstate branch networks benefit most from mergers, according to four researchers. Page 3

Despite charges of censorship, several credit union trade associations are shielding their members from a consultant who helps credit unions convert to mutual thrifts. Page 3


Washington Mutual is launching a California advertising blitz. Page 4


An Asian-American bank in Los Angeles is focusing on another ethnic group: Latinos. Page 6


PNC Bank said that it would buy Arcand Co., a Portland, Ore., investor in affordable housing. Page 7


Boeing awarded its giant commercial card contract to a GE Capital unit. Page 8

Richard J. Srednicki, a prominent credit card and marketing executive who has put in two stints at Citicorp, joined Sears, Roebuck and Co. last month. The 13-year Citi veteran, who got no formal title when he rejoined the bank in April, is running Sears Home Services, a $3 billion business unit. Page 8


Bisys Group is the latest outsourcing company to offer a service aimed at easing the burden and expense of implementing a data warehouse. Page 10

International financial regulators created a Web site to track year-2000 compliance. Page 11


Dime Bancorp is crediting a simplified sales process for boosting sales of a term life insurance product that it recently began offering. Page 12

Alliance Capital Management hired a Putnam Investments executive to head its distribution of mutual funds through banks. Page 12


Japanese and European banks put billions of dollars of loans up for sale at the end of the second quarter, in a bid to boost returns and gird themselves for a possible merger wave, bankers said. Page 21


U.S. bankers who met with Indonesian officials in New York this week expressed optimism that a voluntary debt restructuring will gain lenders' approval. Page 22

Investors are betting on a renewed wave of bank mergers in the coming weeks, anticipating that acquirers will rush to make deals soon in order to complete them before yearend. Back page

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