Amalgamated in N.Y. Tapped by Obama Inauguration Committee

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Presidential inauguration planners have named Amalgamated Bank in New York as their go-to financial institution.

The $3.8 billion-asset, union-owned bank is handling day-to-day banking needs for the 57th inauguration, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said on Monday.

The bank, which was formed in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, is supplying cash management services to the committee, which is scrambling to pull off a parade, a series of balls and a national day of community service that are scheduled around the swearing-in of the president and vice president this Monday.

"Obviously, we're very pleased by this," Edward Grebow, Amalgamated's chief executive, told American Banker. "It's something we've worked very hard to achieve."

Amalgamated, which banks the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, the Service Employees International Union and a series of liberal-leaning groups, beat out a big bank for the inaugural business, Grebow added. He declined to name which one.

"We are proud to partner with Amalgamated Bank, an organization that shares our commitment to supporting America's working families and small businesses," Steve Kerrigan, chief executive of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a news release.

Grebow has diversified the bank's product line since taking over as CEO in May 2011. Amalgamated has developed a prepaid card, expanded its trust offerings and moved into residential mortgages.

Amalgamated, which received a $100 million investment in 2011 from two private-equity groups, also continues a push for business among campaigns and elections. Five of its bankers who work out of an office on K Street in Washington, D.C., ply the political trade. "For us it's a great business and we've developed a specialty and we hope to do a more of it," Grebow said.

Though Amalgamated is handling the inaugural, President Obama's campaign borrowed $15 million from Bank of America (BAC) in September.

Amalgamated, which also was one of the banks used by the Occupy Wall Street movement, gets positive attention from its political leanings, Grebow says. "For a community bank to loan money to political action committees is unusual," he says. "We only do Democrats."

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