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MARKET FOR SUPERMARKET BRANCHES EXPANDS; IBT REPORTS MID-YEAR IN-STORE BANKING INDUSTRY GROWTH

 MARKET FOR SUPERMARKET BRANCHES EXPANDS;
 IBT REPORTS MID-YEAR IN-STORE BANKING INDUSTRY GROWTH
 ATLANTA, July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first six months of 1992, the number of bank branches operating in supermarkets in the United States increased to 1,366, up from 1,203 at year-end 1991.
 International Banking Technologies (IBT) attributes the 13.5 percent increase to financial institutions' increasingly aggressive retail banking strategies.
 "As the battle for consumers' banking business intensifies, financial institutions are employing less conservative tactics to capture market share," said IBT Executive Vice President John W. Garnett. "Services such as home banking, debit cards, and drive-up ATMs cater to the convenience-driven customer; however, they do not provide banks the new business opportunities of supermarket branches where from 15,000 to over 30,000 potential customers shop each week." IBT championed supermarket branching and the sales platform approach which is now in force for its more than 90 financial institution clients, with a total of 442 in-store branches.
 Financial institutions that have implemented in-store banking programs since the beginning of 1992 include: First Bank System, Inc., Minneapolis; MidAmerican Corporation, Roeland Park, Kan.; First National Bank, Oblong, Ill.; and Union Bank and Trust Company, Lincoln, Neb. These institutions range in asset size from $82 million to $17 billion.
 In the first two months of operation, First National Bank of Oblong's supermarket branch experienced results that were much greater than the aggressive goals senior management originally set. According to the $82 million bank's president, Wilfred J. Cross, the initial monthly deposit goal for the IGA supermarket branch was $264,000; after 60 days of operation, the branch had garnered $1.1 million in deposits, an average of $528,000 per month.
 "Our objective for opening the IGA branch was to offer consumers full-service banking, not just a facility for check cashing and deposit gathering," said Cross. "We want to make loans, too." In just two months, $627,000 in consumer loans were made at First National Bank of Oblong's in-store branch for a loan-to-deposit ratio of 56 percent.
 "First National Bank of Oblong has made loan generation a priority for its in-store program from the start," said IBT's Garnett. "Their numbers are particularly impressive considering the IGA supermarket that houses their branch averages 10,000 customers per week." Garnett also credits the new program's success to a strong commitment from First National Bank of Oblong's senior management team.
 IBT offers its clients extensive sales training including the nuances of in-aisle "cold calling." City National Bank of Baton Rouge, La., which began its in-store program in November 1991, attributes 75 percent of its new accounts to one-on-one sales efforts in the supermarket aisles. City National reports that approximately half of these new accounts came from its two closest competitors in the Baton Rouge market.
 MidAmerican Corporation launched its in-store branching program on June 1, 1992, in an effort to penetrate a new market area without the capital requirements of brick and mortar. "We bought into supermarket banking because we liked the idea of having so many people in our branch lobbies," said MidAmerican Branch Sales Manager Debbie Heinrich. "The potential for sales in-store is phenomenal -- much more so than if we were to build a new branch or buy an existing one."
 Currently, MidAmerican operates two in-store branches -- one in a Dillons supermarket and another in a Price Chopper store -- and has plans for a total of nine supermarket branches by mid-1993. Initial customer response has been favorable, according to Heinrich. The two MidAmerican in-store branches opened approximately 125 new accounts in the first two weeks of operation. "When we talk to shoppers in the aisles and tell them about our services, they cannot believe we are actually open seven days a week," said Heinrich. Approximately 33 percent of IBT's supermarket banking clients offer Sunday banking hours; all are open on Saturdays, as well as weekday evenings until 8 or 9 p.m., and many remain open on holidays.
 Statistics on shopper habits, recently released by the Food Marketing Institute, confirm the sales opportunities for in-store bankers. The average consumer frequents a supermarket 2.2 times per week; men average 2.4 trips to a grocery store each week as do individuals between the ages of 40 and 49.
 "The supermarket branching industry will continue to grow as banks compete using aggressive retail delivery strategies and as they become more proactive in their efforts to reach out to the banking consumer," said Garnett. IBT predicts there will be 1,500 supermarket branches across the country by the end of 1992 and more than 2,000 by year-end 1993.
 -0- 7/3/92
 /CONTACT: Kim R. Chimene, director of marketing for International Banking Technologies, 404-381-2023/ CO: International Banking Technologies ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU:


BN-EA -- ATFNS1 -- 6415 07/03/92 07:32 EDT
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Date:Jul 3, 1992
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