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MANAGERS OF HEALTHY BUSINESS FIND BANKERS UNFRIENDLY

 MANAGERS OF HEALTHY BUSINESS FIND BANKERS UNFRIENDLY
 WAYNE, Pa., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthy businesses with sales


between $5 and $250 million (middle-market firms), are attempting to increase credit lines, but banks are not rushing to meet demand, a just completed survey indicates.
 "This sector is usually a good barometer of business activity," said Jim Tumolo, president of Trans Data Corporation, the Wayne, Pa.-based company that has just completed its annual survey of more than 500 businesses. "Our survey indicates strong demand (especially in the retail/construction segment) of middle-market firms," Tumolo said. "Based on our previous studies, this survey is indicative of business activity for the coming year."
 At the same time, Tumolo said the survey clearly depicts a situation where respondents want more credit to increase their business activities, but banks are remaining conservative in their lending.
 Seemingly echoing the study's findings, Mark Ellis Tipton, president of the National Association of Home Builders, has traveled around the country in recent weeks decrying the lack of credit for his organization's members.
 "We (home building) make up one of the largest sectors within the middle-market," he said. "In the past, home building has been a bell weather of how the company is doing. When housing starts begin to increase, the economy gets going. There is pent-up demand out there, but my members can't get credit to satisfy that demand."
 Tipton ruefully admits that his members have few alternatives.
 Despite the lukewarm response to their credit requests, the Trans Data survey also indicates 75 percent of the respondents have remained loyal to their primary service provider. Tumolo said the survey indicated most relationships remained intact because of the overall "quality of service factor." "Forty percent of respondents told us that quality of service was vital in maintaining a relationship," he said. "This was followed by competitive rates, while availability of credit was third. Customer service and financial stability of the institution were the other two most cited reasons."
 Tumolo said many firms were paying fees which could be avoided if they took advantage of automated services available from banks. "For many firms, it is to their benefit to reduce their fees, improve their own balance sheets and put some pressure on banks to loosen credit," he added.
 "For banks, eliminating the traditional separation between cash management and other customer service products and lending programs," Tumolo said, "is an effective way of reducing risk and costs.
 "Their customers are showing the banks the way by learning to properly manager their own money," he added, "so maybe it is time the banks begin to see what a useful tool combining those products can be to help them reduce risks."
 Trans Data's annual survey is designed to monitor middle-market firms for new trends in corporate financial management. The survey is used in strategic planning and market development by banks and other financial institutions.
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 /CONTACT: Don Mazzella of Clay-Webster Associates, 201-941-2252, or Jim Tumolo of Trans Data Corporation, 800-858-2999/ CO: Trans Data Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO


JS-CC -- PH010 -- 2956 12/17/91 12:32 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1991
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