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KENSINGTON COMMUNITY GROUPS, FIDELITY BANK ANNOUNCE INITIATIVE

 KENSINGTON COMMUNITY GROUPS, FIDELITY BANK ANNOUNCE INITIATIVE
 PHILADELPHIA, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of Kensington community groups and Fidelity Bank today announced a joint initiative designed to augment the level of banking services now available in that Eastern North Philadelphia neighborhood.
 As part of this initiative, Fidelity has agreed to keep its Textile Office open until Aug. 31, to give the community coalition additional time to find another financial institution to operate a branch at the Kensington Avenue and Huntingdon Street site. The coalition is seeking to attract a minority- or female-owned financial institution, or a small community bank to the neighborhood.
 Fidelity has offered to donate the bank building to the coalition and help fund capital improvements necessary to reconfigure the office into a smaller community bank.
 If a pending application to establish a new Fidelity-sponsored community development corporation is approved by banking regulators, this corporation will seek to make equity investments in projects that benefit low- and moderate-income communities. In addition, Fidelity will provide loans to creditworthy nonprofit organizations in the community.
 In recognition of Fidelity's comprehensive effort, the members of the coalition of community groups have agreed to drop all current litigation, and to refrain from all legal and regulatory filings for the next three years.
 "Fidelity is pleased at this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the people and the community groups of Kensington and Eastern North Philadelphia," said Roland K. Bullard II, president and chief executive officer of Fidelity. "We will continue to serve Kensington itself from our Kensington and Girard East offices, providing both traditional banking services as well as special products, such as discount home improvement and small business loans, to meet the credit needs of low- and moderate-income residents. Eastern North Philadelphia will also be one of the first areas where we will broadly market our new Community Home Mortgage product.
 "We are counting on the community groups to help this initiative reach its designed benefit by making people aware of the Fidelity services available to them," said Bullard. "The prosperity of the community and the bank are linked; both the bank and the community require growth for success."
 An advisory committee, comprising community and bank representatives and one at-large member, will make recommendations to Fidelity Bank on additional ways to serve the community.
 Charles Valentine, director of Housing Counseling Services for the New Kensington Community Development Corp. and a coalition leader, said, "We are pleased to have come to an agreement that will keep a bank operating at this site. This will greatly benefit the residents and businesses of this thriving neighborhood. We are also grateful that Fidelity Bank has helped Keystone Federal Savings and Loan, the small community bank which the coalition has supported in its attempt to move into this location."
 The coalition of Kensington community groups comprise: The Lighthouse, Cooperative de Terrano Manos Unidos, the Women's Community Revitalization Project, New Kensington Community Development Corp., New Kensington Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Action Alliance of Senior Citizens, Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, and the Kensington Joint Action Council.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/16/92
 /CONTACT: Barbara Nate of Fidelity Bank, 215-985-7003, or Chris


Schweitzer for the coalition, 215-425-8030/
 (FFB) CO: Fidelity Bank ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU:


JS-MP -- PH026 -- 8411 03/16/92 15:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1992
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