A mutual with unique ownership, Cincinnati's Fidelity Federal Savings Bank is sharing the wealth raised by skimpy interest rates.
On Dec. 8, Fidelity's board agreed to repeat its third-quarter dividend of 20 cents a share for the yearend quarter. In addition, the board will pay a 20-cent special dividend.
Why is a mutual savings bank which has issued stock still a mutual? Because its shares were offered by its holding company, Fidelity Federal Mutual Holding Co., with the depositors and executives buying a minority position - and Fidelity Federal holding the rest.
Thus, Fidelity is technically, but not in actuality, a publicly traded bank.
|We're in Nice Shape'
"Our stock is listed on the pink sheets, but it hasn't traded in quite some time," says Fidelity Bank president John R. Reusing. "Fidelity Federal the parent, initially offered the shares at $10, and I think the last trade was at $17.
"We wanted to raise capital - but not that much because we're in nice shape." adds Mr. Reusing, whose bank has a 13.1% Tier 1 capital ratio.
"So, of the 1.1 million shares, 500,000 were sold to directors and depositors. but Fidelity, Federal, the parent. kept the remaining 675.000 shares off the market.
"It's a fairly unusual situation."
As of Nov. 30, Fidelity held $203.3 million of total assets, $176.6 million of total liabilities and $26.7 million of stockholder equity. Its pink sheet listing does not bear a symbol
|Still a Main Street Bank'
Mr. Reusing says his three-branch bank remains a plain vanilla operation. "We're still a main street bank," he says. "We don't have $39 billion in derivatives or anything like that."
He adds that the prevailing weakness in deposit rates ensures that "we'll have a record year. That's why we're rewarding people with the special dividend."
At yearend 1992, Fidelity returned 1.26% on assets: by the end of this year's third quarter the rate had jumped to 1.51%.
Mr. Reusing says his bank was among the first in the nation to establish a holding company.