Mellon Bank Corp. has launched a corporate sweep account with an unusually high minimum in an effort to ratchet up the banking company's cash management and related investment businesses.

The Pittsburgh-based banking company introduced the $20 million minimum balance account - called Automatic Investment Service Gold - on March 1. It sweeps cash overnight to one of the banking company's proprietary money market mutual funds, the Dreyfus Cash Management Plus Fund.

The premium offering is an added feature in Mellon's 10-year-old Global Cash Management unit, which usually offers investment sweep products with no required minimums on regular Automatic Investment Service accounts.

It's hoped that marketing the premium product to middle market and Fortune 1,000 companies will bring more money into that unit and the Dreyfus money market fund, which had an average 12-month yield of 6.02% last year.

"Investment sweeps are becoming more and more in demand,"said Robert A. Bondi, a vice president at Mellon Bank. "AIS Gold is part of an effort to capture assets on the higher end of the spectrum."

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