Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Patriot Act kicks in at banks today


Industry notes: Banking

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Beginning today, don't be surprised if you get asked more questions than usual where you bank if you try to open a new account.

That's because Oct. 1 is when commercial banks, savings banks, credit and brokerage firms and other financial providers must comply with rules of the Patriot Act.

The new federal law basically will allow financial institutions to ask more questions about you than previously if the entity thinks that's necessary for background purposes, industry consultants told Bankrate.com.

For example, new questions might involve other accounts that can be linked to the customer; the customer's business and job; tax status; and the customer's investment objectives. For more details, visit Bankrate.com.

Key Bank grant helps Madisonville housing

Some vacant homes in the Madisonville area will be bought, renovated into housing units and resold to residents with the help of a $150,000 grant from the Key Foundation of Key Bank.

The check was recently given to the Madisonville Community Council to support neighborhood revitalization efforts as part of Madisonville Weed and Seed Strategy; a program designed to fix up blighted buildings.

Kathy Garrison, vice president of the community council and coordinator for Madisonville Weed and Seed, said the grant will help the groups create homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. She also said Key has worked with small-business owners to help buy and rehabilitate more than eight blighted buildings during the past five years in Madisonville's primary business district.

Peoples Community adds two branches

The parent of Peoples Community Bank in West Chester has completed its purchase of two branches in Deer Park and Landen.

Peoples Community Bancorp Inc. paid $6.5 million to acquire the branches from Ameriana Bancorp, picking up about $44.5 million in deposits, $29.2 million in loans and $19.1 million in cash. Peoples Community Bank, with assets of $622 million, has 13 branches in Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties.

0% intro rates work for keeping customers

Credit card companies, always scrapping to pick up customers, might have found a way to keep existing ones, with 0 percent introductory rates.

Most people kept using credit cards even after the introductory rate expired, a new survey says in American Banker.

Of almost 4,350 cardholders surveyed in March by Altanta-based Synergistics Research Corp., only 5 percent of the customers closed an account after the introductory rate ended. Another 29 percent of card users kept accounts open but did not use the plastic.

E-mail jmckinney@enquirer.com



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