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SOCIALLY-RESPONSIBLE BANKING GROWS IN VERMONT

 SOCIALLY-RESPONSIBLE BANKING GROWS IN VERMONT
 BRATTLEBORO, Vt., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Vermont National Bank's


Socially Responsible Banking Fund has grown in just three years to $49 million with more than 2,800 depositors in 39 states, the bank announced today.
 The SRB Fund allows people with ordinary bank accounts -- checking, savings, CDs, IRAs, etc., to target the use of their funds to five "socially responsible" lending areas: affordable housing, agriculture, the environment, education, and small business development. Avoided are support for military weapons, gambling, the manufacture of alcohol or tobacco products, and companies with operations in South Africa.
 SRB Fund Director David Berge said most accounts belong to Vermont individuals and families, though it has attracted numerous out-of-state depositors as well as several Vermont towns, school districts and businesses.
 "Today, as far as we know, we are still the only commercial bank program in the nation that allows depositors with all types of bank accounts to specify that their deposits be used for particular purposes," said Berge. Their accounts earn the same interest rates and have the same FDIC insurance as the bank's other accounts, he said.
 For the bank, social responsibility and financial responsibility are working well together in terms of both attracting new depositors and in loan repayments. Bank officials say borrowers from the Socially Responsible Banking Fund have one of the lowest default records of any type of loan portfolio at the bank with less than one percent delinquent 90 days or more.
 "Vermont National Bank has a 171-year tradition of reinvesting in our community, setting as a priority for investment projects that contribute to making Vermont a better place in which to live and work," said VNB President and CEO John D. Hashagen. "The SRB Fund is an extension of that thinking. It's been an experiment in banking, really, and one that is working well."
 -0- 4/8/92
 /CONTACT: Peg Devlyn of Sandage Inc., 802-658-4800, for Vermont National Bank/ CO: Vermont National Bank ST: Vermont IN: FIN SU:


EG -- NE001 -- 6051 04/08/92 08:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 8, 1992
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