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CONSUMERS CAN SAVE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON FEES, RATES BY ASKING BANKS ABOUT RELATIONSHIP ACCOUNTS

 CONSUMERS CAN SAVE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON FEES, RATES
 BY ASKING BANKS ABOUT RELATIONSHIP ACCOUNTS
 PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers can save hundreds of dollars a year by talking with their local bank representatives to learn about new bank products and services which feature no monthly service fees, higher yields on savings and a credit card with no annual fee.
 Bank customers too often continue to function with the basic checking and savings accounts they opened years ago, instead of considering the new "relationship" accounts which offer preferred interest rates on deposits, lower or no monthly fees for banking services, and special deals on loans.
 That advice comes from Charles T. Conway, director of consumer education services for Fleet Financial Group, who describes the new relationship accounts -- known as Fleet One at Fleet Banks -- as "a product designed for today's consumers, who face a very complex financial world."
 "Consumers owe it to themselves to visit their local bank and ask about the many benefits these relationship accounts provide," Conway said.
 Those benefits can include a higher rate of interest on savings deposits, an interest-paying checking account, no-fee checking, a no-fee credit card, a debit card, no-cost travelers checks, and a host of similar reduced-rate financial services including a discount brokerage account and money market fund.
 "In addition," Conway said, "a significant benefit with a product like Fleet One is that all of your various banking, credit card and investment accounts are reported to you on a single statement every month, making it much easier to manage your money."
 Customized for Maximum Benefits
 "We call our relationship account Fleet One -- other banks use other names -- but the key is that you and your bank form a close working relationship so the bank understands your financial needs and objectives, and is then able to customize your account so it provides you with maximum benefits," Conway said.
 "The all-inclusive monthly statement serves as a snapshot of your financial situation and makes it a lot easier for you to organize and review your monthly financial activities than having a dozen or more statements from different sources all arriving at different times of the month," Conway said.
 He listed three criteria consumers should keep in mind when speaking with a bank representative about the new kinds of products and services.
 Three Important Criteria
 "The first is accessibility. Make certain you can access your money any time you want, day or night, by visiting the bank or using an ATM (automatic teller machine) card.
 "Second, is flexibility. Make sure you can easily transfer your money among the various products and services combined in your relationship account; say, from your money market fund into your checking account.
 "And third is convenience. Make things simple for yourself. Ask if your bank combines all of its products and services into a single monthly statement so you can understand at a glance exactly where you stand financially."
 The bottom line, Conway noted, rests with consumers "who must initiate the conversation."
 "Stop at your neighborhood bank and ask for a Customer Service Representative (CSR). Think of the CSR as your personal banker. Ask for help, and put yourself on the road to more profitable banking," he said.
 The Fleet Consumer Education Initiative is a public service program designed to help consumers better manage their personal and family finances. It employs an array of outreach techniques including community presentations and media interviews to broadly disseminate banking tips helpful to the general public.
 -0- 9/22/92
 /CONTACT: Charles T. Conway of Fleet Financial Group, 401-278-6240/ CO: Fleet Financial Group ST: Rhode Island IN: FIN SU:


SM -- NYPFNS10 -- 1958 09/22/92 06:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 22, 1992
Words:614
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