First Savings Bank of Perth Amboy, N.J., threw a party for the community that is home to its latest branch.

It was billed as a "pool party," but that was only the theme. In fact, there was no pool. A spokesman for BN Group Inc., the public relations firm that helped arrange the party, said "it was not practical" to wheel in an aboveground pool for the event.

But the festivities last weekend at the new Highland Park, N.J., branch- the thrift's first in town and the 17th in its network-included entertainment, door prizes, and the award of a grand-prize trip to Manhattan to see a Broadway show.

In addition, the first 100 people who entered the branch Saturday received cold-drink carriers, some of which had cash inside.

The turnout was not overwhelming, the spokesman said, but it "met everyone's expectations." - Louis Whiteman

VICTORIA, British Columbia-When it comes to inviting speakers to bank conventions, organizers typically pick from a short list of bankers, regulators, consultants, and politicians.

But the Washington Bankers Association gave its members the royal treatment last week when it asked a Queen Elizabeth II look-alike to kick off its annual conference here.

Wearing a crown and clutching the queen's trademark handbag, the actress said she was happy to be in Canada, which features her majesty's likeness on postage stamps.

"Canadians who have never even met me before lick the back of my neck," she quipped in character.

Given the turmoil at Buckingham Palace in recent years, she said, her appearance at the stately Empress Hotel was "one of the highlights of my entire reign, I assure you."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.