Interwest Bancorp has added a new twist to its 1997 annual report: a postcard.

The report features a breathtaking cover shot of Sol Duc Falls, a waterfall on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. And embedded in the full-page photo is a postcard, which readers can either tear out and send to a friend, or, Interwest hopes, send back for more information about the bank.

For three years, the Oak Harbor, Wash., banking company has adorned its annual report covers with soothing photos of the Washington landscape. The idea, said Interwest marketing director Don Piercy, is to gain prominent table placement at investor conferences and, ultimately, win over investors.

"We do this with New York analysts in mind," said Mr. Piercy, a former New Yorker who said he spent many steamy Manhattan afternoons dreaming of escaping to the mountains and forests.

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Adult customers at Five Points Bank of Grand Island, Neb., cannot bank over the Internet, but their kids can.

Leisa Rohling, an assistant vice president at the $230 million-asset bank, said Five Points doesn't offer Internet banking to its regular customers because of security concerns. But children can make safe on-line transactions through a program at a local elementary school.

The students enter their deposits into a school computer. The transactions are bundled into one folder and sent electronically to the bank. The folder is secure over the Internet, whereas an individual's transactions may not be, Ms. Rohling said.

And the kids may even be able to tutor their parents when on-line banking becomes available to adults, she added.

"That's why we're stressing the importance of these skills with the kids," she said.

Besides, she said the program would give them a head start on what will eventually be common bank technology.

"The kids will have been banking on-line for years before they become adult customers," Ms. Rohling added.

- Laura Pavlenko Lutton

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