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BAYBANKS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROGRAM

 BAYBANKS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
 BOSTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- BayBanks today announced an expansion of its community investment program that will benefit low-income neighborhoods in Boston.
 This expanded program provides $5 million in low-interest home improvement loans directly to consumers and $6 million in housing construction loans to the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp., a non-profit community development organization.
 The initiative broadens BayBanks' existing community investment program. During the past two years, BayBanks has opened new full-service branches in Jamaica Plain and Mattapan, as well as a neighborhood loan center in Dudley Square, Roxbury. A third full-service branch at the Jamaica Plain Plaza, Hyde Square, will open in late spring, and plans have been announced for a branch in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester.
 In addition, BayBanks has installed 24 automated teller machines in 18 new locations in Jamaica Plan, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and other Boston neighborhoods since January 1990.
 Mortgage lending by BayBanks also has increased significantly in low-income neighborhoods. Since 1990, BayBanks has committed more than $26 million in special first-time homebuyers programs.
 "These results reflect BayBanks' continuing efforts to provide facilities and financial resources to address the needs of consumers in low-income neighborhoods," said Richard F. Pollard, chairman of BayBank Boston.
 "With this infrastructure in place, BayBanks is now strengthening its commitment to the economic and financial well being of these communities. Our expanded home improvement loan program represents the natural evolution of BayBanks' ongoing efforts to respond to the changing needs of our customers," said Pollard.
 Under the expanded program, BayBanks is committing more than $5 million in direct home improvement loans at an interest rate at least three percent below its prevailing rate.
 "By making more home improvement loans directly to low-income consumers, Baybanks will enhance consumer awareness of the availability of direct home improvement financing options, and thus help reduce customers' reliance on independent contractors and second mortgages for financing," Pollard said.
 As part of the expanded program, Baybanks is also advancing $6 million to the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC), which makes construction loans for developing low-and moderate income housing. The $6 million is in addition to the $10 million Baybanks has already committed to MHIC in the form of equity financing for low- and moderate-income housing.
 Baybanks developed the expanded program in conjunction with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law of the Boston Bar Association, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger's office.
 "We recognize that there were flaws in the indirect home improvement process, and we have made a decision to move to direct lending," said Pollard. "Together with the Attorney General's office and other organizations, we have developed a program to help consumers resolve their problems," Pollard said.
 To this end, the expanded program also ensures that a fair and impartial community-based process is used to assist Baybanks' indirect home improvement loan customers who have experienced difficulties with independent home improvement contractors. Baybanks works with the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council's (MCBC) Victim Resolution Program to resolve customer complaints about home improvement loans. With membership comprising community groups and banking organizations, MCBC offers trained, impartial mediators who provide consumers with the means to obtain satisfactory resolution of their complaints.
 "We actively support the MCBC's program as the most viable means of identifying and assisting those who have complaints about home improvement dealers," said Pollard. "Baybanks is fully committed to resolving all legitimate consumer problems," he added.
 BayBank Boston, N.A. is a member bank of BayBanks, Inc., (NASDAQ: BBNK) one of New England's largest bank holding companies with assets of more than $9.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 1991. BayBank Boston offers a complete range of retail and commercial banking services to consumers and businesses.
 -0- 2/20/92
 /CONTACT: Richard F. Pollard, chairman of BayBank Boston, 617-482-1040/
 (BBNK) CO: BayBank Boston, N.A. ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU:


SH-TM -- NE008 -- 4069 02/20/92 11:07 EST
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Date:Feb 20, 1992
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