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Third Federal Busts a Move to Reduce Travel

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The future for Third Federal Bankis one in which old school movement falls out of fashion.

Many of the tech and strategic initiatives underway or planned at the $750 million-asset bank aim to cut fuel and paper by reducing the transport of people and documents, such as slicing the amount of clients' business travel through remote deposit capture; reducing the amount of paper that moves between the bank and customer mailboxes via e-statements and bill payment and presentment; or using remote server and wide area network access to reduce the need for IT staff to travel to various office and branches to tackle PC issues and other tech problems.

That's not to say there's no movement planned-the bank hopes one of the benefits of a planned server virtualization project will be the dumping of older server boxes that are used in business continuity testing.

"About a year in [to an e-statement offering], for example, we have 1,000 customers getting electronic statements out of the 30,000 statements that we send each month...that's a big deal for us," says Kevin Roddy, a first vp of information technology for Third Federal, which wears many shades of green-the bank is scheduled to open its first Silver LEED-certified branch this month and recently began to market its green mission via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The Philadelphia area bank's web site also includes a blog called "Go Green," in which employees tell stories of what it means to be green personally or in the workplace, with updates on everything from the bank's branch construction to tips on how to renovate home bathrooms efficiently.

Other programs include the drafting of a green business plan directed toward business and consumer lending initiatives to finance the sustainable energy activities of its customer base, such as construction and rehabilitation in the commercial and residential marketplace. And the bank's GreenLoan program is aimed at borrowers hoping to finance energy-efficient home improvements with a reduced rate home equity loan.

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