the ALL program has been run on this file

The value of bank mergers and acquisitions in the first half was far bigger than any previous full year. And the two biggest deals - Citicorp- Travelers and NationsBank-BankAmerica - both had broad geographic reach. Pullout section

WASHINGTON

Two private information brokers offered lawmakers "how-to" instructions for duping bank employees and customers into revealing confidential financial data. Page 2

COMMUNITY

The lingering financial crisis in Asia has opened the door for U.S. investors to buy large ownership stakes in California's Asian-owned banks. Page 5

TECHNOLOGY

Financial institutions and their customers increasingly operate across national borders. But to operate globally, they must provide broader, more flexible information technology support. Page 6

REGIONAL

Bowing to pressure from customers, Wells Fargo has reversed a decision to slap fees on certain checking accounts. Page 8

CARDS

Frustrated at the failure of SET software to "break out" into the Internet mainstream, GlobeSet set out to redefine the problem. Page 10

DIGITAL FRONTIERS Page 11

MORTGAGES

HOME EQUITY: Conseco chairman Stephen Hilbert says he wants to "build the finest financial services company in America" now that he's bought Green Tree Financial. Page 12

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Putnam Investments is sharing with its customers some of the rewards it has reaped from the long-running bull market. Page 15

CORPORATE FINANCE

Sumitomo Bank and Daiwa Securities said they will combine their investment banking and asset-management businesses to give them stronger financing after two years of losses. Page 25

MARKETS

Bank stocks fell with the market on the prospect of a constitutional crisis, after former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's lawyers said she had an immunity deal with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr. Back page

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