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FLEET BANK OF MASSACHUSETTS ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF SMALL BUSINESS LENDING GROUP

 FLEET BANK OF MASSACHUSETTS ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF
 SMALL BUSINESS LENDING GROUP
 BOSTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleet Bank of Massachusetts announced today the introduction of its Small Business Alliance, a lending group specifically designed to serve the needs of small business owners throughout the Commonwealth.
 "Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn," said Leo R. Breitman, president and chief executive officer of Fleet Bank of Massachusetts. "Fleet Bank is committed to playing an integral role in the revitalization of the Massachusetts economy, and doing its part to ease the credit crunch that many small-business owners have experienced. The creation of Fleet's community banking division's Small Business Alliance, with staff, capital, and resources designated solely to meet this market's needs, is an important step in that direction," he continued.
 Early in 1991, Fleet Financial Group assigned a task force to investigate how to structure its small-business commercial lending throughout all of its banking subsidiaries. The Small Business Alliance, a corporatewide initiative, resulted from the task force's research.
 Fleet Bank of Massachusetts' Small Business Alliance is headed by Patricia Hanratty, senior vice president and head of community banking. The alliance consists of 23 community banking specialists in 17 branches plus the managers of Fleet's 140-plus branches throughout the state. This group of professionals is fully dedicated to the Fleet Small Business Alliance and provides financial and non-credit services to businesses with sales of up to $5 million and borrowing requirements of up to $500,000.
 "Small business is the cornerstone of our local economy," Hanratty said. "All of our small-business specialists are locally based and members of the communities they serve, which provides them with a clear understanding of the needs of local businesses. The Small Business Alliance represents a fundamental structural change in the way Fleet deals with our small commercial customers. The process is particularly effective as the local loan officers spend almost all their time calling on businesses, with the time-consuming administrative tasks handled centrally."
 The alliance is part of the community banking division responsible for all branch banking activity. Small-business portfolios had previously been handled by Fleet's commercial lending division.
 In addition to the creation of the Small Business Alliance system, Fleet is currently developing a series of products specifically designed for the small-business owner. These products will be introduced in the fall of 1992 and will include relationship accounts, business Mastercards, ATM cards and other products to enhance the banking relationship between Fleet and its small-business customers.
 Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, with approximately 140 banking offices and in excess of $7 billion in assets, is a subsidiary of Fleet Financial Group, a diversified financial services company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FLT) with approximately 1,300 offices nationwide. Fleet Financial Group's lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, asset-based lending, investment management and student loan processing.
 -0- 8/6/92
 /CONTACT: Donna B. Levy, 617-573-7746, or Meg Pier, 617-573-7733, of Fleet Bank of Massachusetts/
 (FLT) CO: Fleet Bank of Massachusetts; Fleet Financial Group ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU:


TM-CN -- NE005 -- 7531 08/06/92 10:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1992
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