Continental Bank Corp. has joined a natiownide organization designed to speed check clearing.

The organization, called Eccho, for Electronic Check Clearing House Organization, was formed in 1990 by 13 large banks, partly in response to federal regulations requiring banks to speed up the availability of deposited checks.

Continental is the 38th member of the group. Members transmit check payment data by computer to other banks before the paper item is delivered. That enables them to receive payment sooner. Large processors can also increase fee income by offering other banks settlement services that bypass those of the Federal Reserve System.

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