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SIGNET BANK OFFERS SECURED CREDIT CARD

 SIGNET BANK OFFERS SECURED CREDIT CARD
 RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- For the millions of Americans


who have had difficulty qualifying for a credit card, Signet Bank (NYSE: SBK) offers a new product called the Signet Secured Card. Signet is the only bank in the District of Columbia and Virginia, and the largest bank in Maryland, to offer a secured card, according to reports from Bankcard Holders of America.
 Designed for individuals with poor or no credit histories, the Signet Secured Card functions like any MasterCard or Visa and is backed by a special savings account customers must open as collateral for their credit line.
 "Signet recognizes many people have not been able to qualify for credit because of economic reasons," said Nigel Morris, Signet Bank senior vice president. "We want to help consumers establish credit and rebuild their credit histories. This product will give all individuals an opportunity to build good credit, regardless of past credit problems."
 All the customer has to do to receive a Signet MasterCard or Visa is deposit a minimum of $300 into a special savings account that allows no withdrawals. Signet will issue a Visa or MasterCard with a credit line equal to the amount in the savings account up to a maximum of $5,000. Customers earn an attractive 5 percent, compounded quarterly, on the savings and pay 19.8 APR and a $20 annual fee for use of the card.
 If an individual calls the Signet Secured Card department at 1-800-333-7116, there is no charge to apply. Regardless of past financial problems, all applicants will qualify if they complete the acceptance form accurately.
 "When customers open a Secured Card account, they are accomplishing several goals," Morris said. "They are establishing good credit and saving, at an attractive rate, for the future. Plus, they can control the limit on their credit line by deciding how much they want to keep in savings."
 For those who do not have the $300 minimum deposit to initiate the card, installment payments can be made into the savings account. When the $300 minimum is reached, Signet will issue the card.
 The Signet Secured Card looks and functions like any other MasterCard or Visa, Morris said, and is accepted by more than 8 million merchants nationwide. The card is reported to a credit bureau as a regular credit card, allowing customers to establish good credit, he added.
 "Handling this account responsibly will enable the cardholder to later qualify for other forms of credit, such as car loans and mortgages," said Matt Cooper, Signet Bank assistant vice president. "After a year, good credit customers will earn line increases without having to make additional deposits into their savings."
 Signet officials recognize that many consumers have fallen victim to "guaranteed credit" scams. Individuals with credit problems have been baited into paying high application fees and then told they don't qualify.
 "We developed our Signet Secured Card to give people a legitimate way to solve their credit problems," Cooper said. "To provide quality customer service and demonstrate our commitment to this product, we've created a special Secured Card department that takes all applications, accepts all deposits and services all accounts. We established the toll free 1-800-333-7116 number, exclusively for individuals to sign up for the card."
 The oldest continuous credit card issuer in the nation, Signet Banking Corp. is one of the few major credit card issuers in the country to market this product. Signet is an $11.2 billion organization and services more than 1.5 million cardholders. It also is a member of the FDIC and the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 8/31/92
 /CONTACT: Teri A. Temples, Public Relations Director, Signet Banking, 804-771-7210/
 (SBK) CO: Signet Banking Corporation ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: PDT


CM-SB -- CH002 -- 4802 08/31/92 08:39 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1992
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