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FINANCIAL SUPERMARKETS INC. AND THE CHAMBERLAIN ORGANIZATION TO DEVELOP SUPERMARKET BANKS IN MICHIGAN, OHIO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA AND WISCONSIN

FINANCIAL SUPERMARKETS INC. AND THE CHAMBERLAIN ORGANIZATION TO DEVELOP SUPERMARKET BANKS IN MICHIGAN, OHIO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA AND WISCONSIN
 DETROIT, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chamberlain Organization Ltd., a Michigan-based firm that provides consulting services to a variety of financially related institutions, associations and foundations, has been named the exclusive Great Lakes region representative for Financial Supermarkets Inc. (FSI), with responsibility for Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
 The first company in the U.S. to license the grocery banking concept through its Supermarket Banks(TM), FSI enters into agreements with supermarket chains, major wholesalers and independents, and then licenses the rights to operate Supermarket Banks(TM) to financial institutions. Supermarket Banks(TM) are full-service bank branches which take deposits and may offer a variety of banking services, including consumer loans.
 "We're very pleased to be working with The Chamberlain Organization as we move into the Great Lakes region. The principals' background as highly regarded bank regulators means they understand banking. Supermarket Banks(TM) provide convenient one-stop shopping for supermarket consumers, and we believe there will be strong interest in Supermarket Banks(TM) in this region," said J. Alton Wingate, president and CEO of Cornelia, Ga.-based Community Bankshares Inc., and creator of the Supermarket Banks(TM) concept.
 The Chamberlain Organization is headed by its chairman, Eugene W. Kuthy, former banking commissioner of the state of Michigan, who was head of the Financial Institutions Bureau (FIB) from 1983-1990, and its president, Stanley C. Fedewa, who formerly served as the executive director of FIB.
 "The days of spending a couple of million dollars to build a brick-and-mortar branch somewhere in the suburban sprawl are over," said Kuthy. "Banks today confront growing capitalization requirements, pressure to produce profits and higher consumer expectations. Supermarket banking represents a solid alternative for some banks to gain or sustain market coverage," he added.
 Currently, the industry trend is to install most in-store bank branches in large supermarkets of more than 35,000 square feet, which can conduct more than 14,000 customer transactions per week. A bank's custom-built branch within the store is typically 350 square feet or more, and usually includes three to five teller windows, a private office for customer transactions, an ATM, a night depository, and, in some cases, safety deposit boxes.
 FSI offers a turn-key package for the participating bank and the host supermarket. Typically, the full cost of installing a custom bank unit in the store is one-fifth the cost of building and equipping the standard branch bank. Operating costs for the Supermarket Banks(TM) can be as much as 70 percent less than branch banks.
 "The bank that will succeed in supermarket banking will be an innovative, retail-oriented one," said Fedewa. "Bank management must select motivated employees, cross-train them to provide all banking services, and provide an incentive package. Through an intensive training program provided by Financial Supermarkets Inc., employees are given the sales skills and marketing programs necessary to convert shoppers to bank customers. Banks that treat their supermarket branch like a traditional branch are doomed to failure, and we advise them not to get into it at all," Fedewa concluded.
 The Chamberlain Organization offers a wide range of consulting services to financial institutions, state and federal financial services regulators, economic development programs, foundations, trade associations and law and accounting firms. The Chamberlain Organization has offices in Detroit and East Lansing, Mich.
 FSI has installed 125 Supermarket Banks(TM) in six major grocery chains in the U.S., including Winn Dixie, Bruno's and Ingles. The company currently has Supermarket Banks(TM) in six southeastern states and has licensed the Supermarket Banks(TM) concept to Banque Populaire de Lorraine in Metz, France. The French bank opened its first "Market Bank" in 1991 and plans to open nine more during the next 24 months.
 Financial Supermarkets, Inc., is the non-bank subsidiary of Community Bank & Trust, Cornelia, Ga., which is the lead bank of Community Bankshares Inc., in Cornelia, near Atlanta.
 -0- 3/9/92
 /CONTACT: Gene Kuthy or Stan Fedewa of The Chamberlain Organization, 313-824-0080, or Aubrey Motz III of Financial Supermarkets Inc., 404-778-1191/ CO: The Chamberlain Organization Ltd.; Financial Supermarkets, Inc.
 Community Bankshares Inc. ST: Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin IN: FIN SU: PDT


BR-BN -- AT004 -- 6279 03/09/92 10:02 EST
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Date:Mar 9, 1992
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