Updated from 2:07 a.m. EDT

Refco ( RFX), the New York derivatives house battling to survive an accounting scandal, looked ready to hoist the white flag Friday, announcing steps that will greatly diminish the business of its U.S. brokerage arm.

But in a bit of good news for Refco, the firm's three main banks decided to take no immediate action on the question of whether Refco has defaulted on its debt. They will meet again next week to consider the matter.

A day after shuttering an offshore unit, Refco said Friday that its regulated U.S. brokerage, Refco Securities, has "initiated the process of unwinding proprietary and client positions." The brokerage will engage only in "security transactions to the extent necessary to offset and effectively liquidate outstanding long and short customer and proprietary positions."

The move came as the three banks that arranged an $800 million bank loan for Refco met to decide how to proceed in the wake of the massive $430 million accounting scandal that's led to criminal charges against the firm's former CEO. The meeting was led by Bank of America ( BAC), the administrator on the bank deal that also included Credit Suisse First Boston ( CSR), and Deutsche Bank ( DB).

A source with CSFB says the Swiss-based investment bank's exposure to the bank debt taken on by Refco is negligible because much of the original loan was syndicated to other banks and investors -- a common practices in such financing.

There was speculation that the banks would demand changes in the terms of the bank debt in light of recent events and the downgrade of Refco's bonds further into junk status by two major ratings agencies.

Refco's bank debt is trading on the secondary market at the depressed price of 60 cents for each dollar of par value. But that's still considerably higher than the price for Refco's bonds, which have been trading as low as 23 cents on the dollar.

An analyst who did not want to identified said the securities arm is not a big a part of Refco's operation and the decision to shutter it should not have any immediate impact on its future business.

Meanwhile, a customer of Refco's big futures business, Refco LLC, says his firm got an email from Refco saying the division was solvent and planned to continue operating. Late Friday, speculation was swirling on Wall Street that Goldman Sachs ( GS), hired Thursday as a financial adviser to Refco, was actively shopping around the futures operation to Wall Street firms.

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