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FLEET FINANCIAL GROUP MAKES MAJOR COMMITMENT OF MORE THAN $500 MILLION TO HELP NORTHEAST COMMUNITIES

 PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- At its annual mee stockholders today, Fleet Financial Group (NYSE: FLT) announced a major commitment of more than $500 million to help stimulate economic growth and urban revitalization in communities throughout the Northeast where Fleet does business.
 Michael R. Zucchini, vice chairman in charge of Fleet's consumer banking and community reinvestment programs, outlined plans for two new Fleet efforts: a small business lending program and an affordable housing initiative.
 "To help sustain the early indicators of a regional economic recovery, we are implementing two significant measures that greatly expand credit availability and enhance Fleet's community development ventures," Zucchini said. "One of our greatest objectives is to improve the quality of life in the low-income and minority communities that we serve. In making these major investments, Fleet is pleased to provide opportunities for home ownership and new business growth."
 Fleet has set aside $500 million for loans to small businesses throughout the Northeast. Of this total, $40 million will be targeted for special needs. These include loan assistance to low-to-moderate-income borrowers, minorities, urban enterprises, non-profit groups, and other who have had previous difficulty in obtaining credit.
 Fleet is also investing $5 million in Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), the nation's largest nonprofit, community development support organization. LISC marshals private sector support to improve deteriorating communities.
 "Cooperative efforts such as these are imperative if we are to be successful in improving our communities while providing suitable, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families," Zucchini said.
 LISC programs help community development agencies upgrade neighborhoods in decline. Financing and technical help to implement ongoing redevelopment projects are the cornerstone of these efforts. Housing agencies involved in new construction, rehabilitation projects and commercial and industrial building improvements qualify for funding in the form of loans, lines of credit, grants, loan guarantees and recoverable grants from LISC.
 Through LISC-sponsored projects, local community development agencies develop affordable housing, create jobs, prompt commercial investment, and broaden other services that strengthen low- and moderate-income communities.
 Zucchini explained that the initiatives he announced today represent just two of the many community development efforts currently underway in Fleet's banks and financial services affiliates. Over the past two years, Fleet has invested more than $25 million in low-income housing partnerships, he said.
 "Through our innovative housing and small business initiatives, and by working with local governments and community groups, Fleet has made major strides in improving the standard of living in many neighborhoods," Zucchini said. "Fleet's total annual commitment tops $2.5 billion, and ranges from FHA and VA mortgages to small business lending." In addition, he pointed out that Fleet employees devote thousand of hours each year to volunteer work in their communities.
 Fleet Financial Group is a $45-billion diversified financial services company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FLT) with approximately 1,200 offices nationwide. Its lines of business include commercial and consumer banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, asset-based lending, investment management, and student loan processing.
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Robert W. Lougee, Jr., 401-278-5879, Bruce Crooks, 401-278-6241, Thomas L. Lavelle, 401-278-3003, all of Fleet Financial Group/
 (FLT)


CO: Fleet Financial Group ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU:

TM -- NE014 -- 8823 04/21/93 14:08 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1993
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