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 PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- With the goal of "taking the intimidation out of investing," U.S. Bank, through its affiliate company U.S. Bancorp Securities, announced it has launched a comprehensive educational program to help first-time investors overcome their fear of the unknown and become familiar with investing options.
 Today, bank customers who traditionally relied on CDs to build their financial nest egg are considering mutual funds, stocks, bonds, annuities and other products, according to Keith Miles, U.S Bancorp executive vice president.
 U.S. Bank's program reflects a trend among banks nationwide to expand their traditional niche by offering full-service investment programs to their customers, said Miles. "What sets us apart is that our focus is on a more typical bank customer not usually targeted for this type of program," he noted.
 "With millions of dollars in CDs coming due in October, many of our bank customers may be confused about where to put that money to generate the best return, given their risk tolerance. They often are intimidated by investment jargon and sales-oriented brokers, and they opt not to invest, or get talked into investments they don't understand or which are not right for them," Miles added.
 Miles cited a recent independent survey conducted for U.S. Bancorp which revealed that 45 percent of potential investors prefer working with a bank, compared to 26 percent citing a brokerage firm. When probed as to why they prefer banks, respondents cited trust and convenience as primary reasons.
 "Customer relationships have always been our number one priority, and we take our customers' immediate and long-term financial needs very seriously," Miles said.
 "Our investment officers ensure that our customers are completely comfortable with their financial goals, risk tolerance and projected yield over time, because we value the long-term relationship we have with our customers. In addition, our investment experts explain carefully the important differences between insured bank deposits and non-FDIC insured investment products."
 Services provided by U.S. Bank through U.S. Bancorp Securities include one-on-one counseling with a licensed investment officer which leads to an individual investment plan; free price quotes; toll-free phone orders; and automatic deposit of proceeds and dividends into U.S. Bank accounts.
 First-time investors can make an appointment through a U.S. Bank branch for a free, computerized financial planning analysis with an investment officer. This analysis includes a recommended portfolio showing how much a customer should consider investing in the stock market, bonds and other products to meet immediate and long-term financial goals.
 Interested consumers also receive an Investors' Kit, featuring a Smart Investing worksheet to help them assess their risk tolerance levels and financial goals.
 The Investor's Kit also contains a plain-language glossary of common investment terms, a schedule of free upcoming investment seminars and a copy of U.S. Bancorp Securities' quarterly Dividend investment newsletter.
 Investment customers now may take advantage of U.S. Bancorp Securities' "Investment Access Account," which offers an array of investment products including mutual funds, stocks, bonds, IRAs, government and municipal securities. No account fee or minimum balance is required with one or more investment transactions per year.
 According to Miles, the investment products and services available from U.S. Bank through U.S. Bancorp Securities are a response to changing customer needs in a persistent period of low interest rates.
 "While we have provided money management services for more than 70 years, our revolving program reflects our customers' desire to purchase from their bank a variety of products, beyond CDs and savings accounts, to meet their financial goals," he said.
 In 1992, U.S. Bancorp Securities reported a 240-percent increase in mutual fund sales over the previous year; consumer investment sales overall increased 56 percent.
 U.S. Bancorp Securities has 86 full-time, fully-licensed investment officers located in 14 investment centers throughout Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Nevada and Idaho. These investment officers are available for consultations at more than 400 U.S. Bank branches.
 U.S. Bancorp Securities is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, the largest bank holding company headquartered in the Northwest, with assets of $20.8 billion as of June 30, 1993.
 U.S. Bancorp is one of the nation's 35 largest bank holding companies, and has consistently ranked among the top tier of these companies in performance and capital strength. Banking subsidiaries include U.S. Bank of Oregon; U.S. Bank of Washington; U.S. Bank of California; U.S. Bank of Nevada; and U.S. Bank of Idaho; and U.S. Bank (Canada).
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Ruble, Public Relations, of U.S. Bancorp, 503-275-6200/

CO: U.S. Bank ST: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada IN: FIN SU:

JH -- SE001 -- 6797 09/29/93 11:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993

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