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 Bank Will Help Establish Southeast San Diego Financial Institution
 or Branch; Will Open Southeast San Diego Mortgage Loan Office
 SAN DIEGO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- First Interstate Bank of California has announced a comprehensive San Diego Community Plan that outlines its strategies for investing in the economic development of San Diego County following its merger with San Diego Trust & Savings Bank.
 First Interstate Bank stated in the plan that it will support local initiatives to establish banking services in Southeast San Diego, such as a proposed Neighborhood Development Bank, a proposed community credit union and a full-service bank branch inside a proposed supermarket development. If none of these initiatives has been implemented by the second half of 1995, the bank said it will begin taking steps to open a full service First Interstate Bank branch in the area.
 In addition, First Interstate said it will establish a new loan- production office in Southeast San Diego to initiate mortgage loans in the area, including First Interstate's affordable-mortgage programs with special terms for low- and moderate-income borrowers.
 The San Diego City-County Reinvestment Task Force worked with First Interstate to develop the plan, which was based on meetings with 45 community organizations and local government agencies to identify local credit needs. "We believe it is a responsive and comprehensive plan," said Jim Bliesner, director of the City-County Reinvestment Task Force, in a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the primary federal regulatory agency of First Interstate Bank of California. The letter states that the task force will not oppose First Interstate's acquisition of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank.
 "We recognize that by increasing our presence in San Diego, we also increase our responsibility to this community," said Bruce G. Willison, chairman, president and chief executive officer of First Interstate Bank of California. "We made a commitment when we announced the acquisition that we would continue and build on San Diego Trust's long tradition of community support, and our San Diego Community Plan spells out some of the specific ways that we will combine with San Diego Trust to deliver on that commitment."
 First Interstate said it will report on its progress on these initiatives at semi-annual meetings with the San Diego City-County Reinvestment Task Force.
 Other initiatives outlined in the First Interstate Community Plan include:
 Community Officer, Advisory Board Member
 -- To oversee the bank's community investment efforts in the county, First Interstate will create a position for a full-time, San Diego-based community reinvestment officer. The officer will have primary responsibility for community outreach, with particular emphasis on determining and then addressing the credit needs of low- and moderate- income areas.
 -- The bank has created a new Community Advisory Board which includes Frank Jordan, a media consultant and president of the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving as a community representative of the San Diego area. The advisory board will meet with the bank's management to help the bank better understand and meet the needs of minority and low-income communities throughout California.
 Small Business Development
 -- First Interstate said it is prepared to extend and renew its $100,000 participation in the revolving loan fund of the San Diego Economic Development Corp., which provides loans to small businesses that do not qualify for conventional financing.
 -- The bank will make an equity investment of $15,000 in the San Diego-based Banker's Small Business Community Development Corp., which provides loans to small businesses that do not qualify for conventional financing, and continue San Diego Trust's active role in the organization, including technical support.
 -- First Interstate will add to its staff a local loan officer who will be dedicated to helping San Diego businesses secure Small Business Administration and other government-guaranteed loans.
 Charitable Community Support
 -- First Interstate said it intends to continue San Diego Trust's tradition and level of community support, including local charitable contributions.
 -- The bank will work with non-profit housing developers to help the bank establish a new grant program to provide funds needed in the pre- development stage.
 -- First Interstate will give community-based organizations first priority to bid for surplus office space as it is vacated due to the bank's merger-related consolidations.
 Expansion of Established Community Investment Programs
 First Interstate noted that, because its presence in San Diego County will increase four-fold with the acquisition of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank, it expects to significantly increase its local outreach efforts and expand implementation of its existing community reinvestment programs that are available through First Interstate statewide. These programs include:
 -- Financing of affordable housing construction and renovation, including investments in lending consortia and equity funds that provide financing for affordable housing.
 -- Affordable mortgage programs that reduce the down payment requirement to as little as 3 percent to 5 percent and reduce closing costs for eligible low- to moderate-income borrowers or those buying in low-income or predominantly minority census tracts.
 -- Special financing and underwriting programs to help mobile-home renters buy their homes.
 -- A consumer loan program ("F.I.R.S.T. Loans"), that makes it easier for people on low to moderate incomes to qualify.
 -- Community investment grants to support low-income housing, small business development and economic development.
 -- Participation in the California Small Business Development Corp., which administers the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
 -- Loans to religious institutions engaged in economic development or affordable housing projects.
 -- A program to increase the bank's purchases from businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled Americans to 25 percent of new purchases by 1998.
 -- Spanish-language marketing and advertising.
 San Diego Financial Corp., parent of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank, had announced on Aug. 9, 1993, that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by First Interstate Bancorp, parent company of First Interstate Bank of California. The transaction is expected to be completed in March, pending regulatory approval.
 With 339 branches and more than $20 billion in assets, First Interstate Bank of California is the third largest bank in the state and the largest based in Southern California. First Interstate Bancorp is the 14th largest commercial banking company in the United States. Its more than 1,000 offices in 13 western states serve individuals, small businesses, middle market companies and selected large corporations and financial institutions.
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Rich Wyler, First Interstate Public Communications, 213-614-4462 (office) or 213-613-5995 (pager)/

CO: First Interstate Bank of California; San Diego Trust & Savings Bank ST: California IN: FIN SU:

JM-LS -- SD002 -- 2176 01/14/94 16:51 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994

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