Huntington National Teams with Churches

Huntington National Bank is working with several churches to provide bank services to low-and moderate-income consumers.

The Columbus, Ohio, bank will kick off a pilot program later this month offering discounted bank services to parishioners at three churches. Installment loans, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and mortgages are among the services.

Satisfying CRA Rules

In addition to tapping a new market, the bank expects the program to satisfy requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act.

"It does meet both the spirit and the letter of the CRA law," said Ricardo Wright, the community reinvestment coordinator for Columbus.

Along with discounted products, bank officers will run seminars at the churches on financial matters, like home ownership, small business loans, and credit issues for women.

Study Spurred the Test

Huntington said it is the first bank in the nation to offer full-banking services by working with churches. The bank decided to work through religious organizations after conducting a study that indicated many people in its community who do not have a bank account do not trust financial institutions. But the study indicated they would take financial advice from their church.

After testing the project in Columbus, the bank plans to expand the service to other churches in its markets.

Huntington is making contributions to participating churches. The bank is the lead subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares, a $11.7 billion-asset company based in Columbus.

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