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FLEET BANK OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWERS CREDIT CARD AND HOME EQUITY RATES

 BOSTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- On Feb. 22, Fleet Bank of Massachusetts will introduce its lowest rates ever on credit card balances and home equity loans.
 Fleet will now offer new credit cardholders a rate of 9.9 APR percent on all transferred balances until they are paid in full and will waive the first year's annual fee. This offer is good on all Fleet- issued cards, including classic VISA and MasterCard, VISA Gold, Gold Mastercard, and student VISA. The 9.9 percent rate will be in effect 90 days from the opening of the account until the balance on those transactions is paid in full, Fleet is one of the only two remaining Massachusetts banks to own its credit card portfolio and provide servicing for its credit card customers.
 Additionally, Fleet will offer a new home equity rate of 5.99 APR percent which is below the prime rate and one of the lowest rates in Massachusetts in more than 20 years. Further, all closing costs on lines up to $200,000 will be waived. Home equity loans provide one of the ways to realize a tax deduction on borrowed money, other than a mortgage. This offer will be in effect from the Feb. 22, 1993 through June 30, 1993, and the interest rate of 5.99 percent will be fixed through Jan. 15, 1994 when it will become prime plus 1.50 percent.
 "These two product offerings provide Massachusetts consumers with an opportunity to realize substantial substantial savings on their credit needs," said Dennis Murphy, executive vice president, Community Banking. "Our new rates are considerably lower than what is currently available and we expect consumer response to be extremely positive.
 "Fleet has been an industry leader in offering products that are responsive to the marketplace. Our experience has proven that there is tremendous pent-up demand for lower credit costs. In 1992, we offered a 11.9 percent credit card rate and 47,700 consumers became credit card customers while this rate was in effect," Murphy continued. "A home equity promotion in the spring of 1992 featured an interest rate of 6.5 percent and generated close to $100 million in commitments, and a fall rate of 5.99 generated over 3,000 applications."
 These two promotions will be supported by aggressive advertising campaigns, which will break on Feb. 21, and will include newspaper advertisements, television commercials, direct mail campaigns, and in- branch point-of-purchase materials.
 Fleet bank of Massachusetts, with more than 160 branches statewide and in excess of $8 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's lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, asset-based lending, investment management and student loan processing.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Donna B. Levy, 617-346-3102, or Meg Pier, 617-346-3104 of Fleet Bank of Massachusetts/
 (FLT)


CO: Fleet Bank of Massachusetts ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU: PDT

TM -- NE004 -- 7774 02/18/93 10:20 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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