John Tugwell sees the future of home banking, and it's cable television. The chairman and chief executive of National, Westminster Bancorp believes that cable television, not screen phones or personal computers, may prove to be the most user-friendly means of delivering live, interactive banking services to millions of couch potatoes.

To prove Mr. Tugwell's point, Natwest recently participated in a live demonstration with the New Jersey Cable Television Association that linked up a loan officer in one of the bank's New Jersey branches with a customer at home. The customer was able to see and speak with the loan officer, who appeared on the television screen via a cable hookup between the house and the branch.

While stressing the banking by cable television is still off in the future, Mr Tugwell says he's "very interested" in pursuing the concept. "CAble is in almost every home," he said. "We're seeing what we can do."

The bank will no doubt be aided in the effort by the cable association, which just happens to be a longtime credit customer.

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