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Howe Barnes Investments, Inc. Enters Into Clearing Agreement With First Clearing Corporation.

RICHMOND, Va. -- RICHMOND, Va., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- First Clearing Corporation announced today that it has signed a correspondent clearing agreement with Howe Barnes Investments, Inc. under which Howe Barnes will benefit from First Clearing's state of the art technology platform and full complement of financial products and services.

"We are proud of our commitment to service excellence and delighted that Howe Barnes has decided to entrust First Clearing Corporation with this important role in helping them serve their clients," said David Williams, Managing Director of First Clearing Corporation. "We look forward to providing Howe Barnes with capabilities that are among the most sophisticated in the financial services industry."

Under the agreement, Howe Barnes' financial advisors will have access to an industry-leading array of product, information and technology tools provided by First Clearing Corporation, including the broker desktop system InfoMAX, which delivers First Clearing correspondents with constantly updated vital news and financial information, as well as immediate access to product, services and marketing support information.

"Howe Barnes' decision to select First Clearing Corporation reflected a number of factors, including their willingness to help us recruit Financial Advisors -- and through their extensive product and support capabilities and timely sales ideas, retain them," explained Dan Coughlin, President & CEO of Howe Barnes. "We had a number of alternatives but were impressed with First Clearing's commitment to service and personal accountability -- and their efforts to help our firm raise its production," he said. "This relationship with First Clearing will enhance our firm's capabilities and, in turn, the ability of our Financial Advisors to serve our clients."

First Clearing Corporation, a separate non-bank affiliate of Wachovia Corporation provides trade execution and clearing services to more than 100 broker/dealer firms nationwide and is a member of all major exchanges, including NYSE, NASDAQ, and SIPC.

Howe Barnes Investments, Inc., an investment firm located in Chicago, IL has been serving clients since 1915 and is a member of the NYSE, NASDAQ, and SIPC.

CONTACT: David Williams, Managing Director, +1-804-782-3519, or Tony Mattera, Corporate Communications, +1-804-787-6872, both of First Clearing Corporation, or Dan Coughlin, President & CEO of Howe Barnes Investments, Inc., +1-312-655-3000
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 30, 2003
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