At the recent opening of Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union in Upper Manhattan, four banks came to make nonmember deposits: Bankers Trust Co., Fuji Bank, Republic National Bank, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
But the representative from Chase forgot to bring his super-sized check.
Fuji Bank was nice enough to share its large piece of cardboard with its competitor. Richard Jackson, vice president of community relations at Chase, took a fat black marker and added his bank's name and logo to Fuji's and doubled the amount on the check to $200,000.
Could it be that a merger is in the works?
Forget the McDonaldization of banks. This is a case of McDonald's versus a bank.
Oxford Bank, a small Addison, Ill., institution this week grabbed the attention of America's largest fast-food chain when it started giving away Teeny Beanie Babies to anyone opening a $1,000 child savings account. The bank amassed 500 of the popular plush beanbag toys on the secondary market via the Internet.
Their primary market had been McDonald's, which had 100 million of the toys manufactured exclusively to give away in its Happy Meals.
That's why McDonald's fired off a letter to Oxford, telling the bank to stop its promotion or it would sue. In fact, McDonald's let Oxford know that the entire future of the Happy Meal toy is at stake.
"Your actions may seriously damage McDonald's good will," the letter said.
A McDonald's repesentative could not be reached for comment.
Bank officials went ahead with the promotion and as of press time reported a brisk business in child savings accounts.
"Apparently this big multibillion-dollar corporation is deathly afraid of $200 million(-asset) Oxford Bank," said Kevin Tynan, president of Tynan Marketing in Chicago, which handles marketing and promotions for Oxford Bank.
First came the rolling bank branch. Now, a bank is trying out the concept with library books instead of passbooks.
Cape Ann Savings Bank, Gloucester, Mass., celebrated its 150th anniversary by donating a $100,000 bookmobile to the city of Gloucester. The bookmobile will become the traveling branch of the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library.
Harold J. Rogers 2d, president of Cape Ann Savings Bank, said a search of banking industry records reveals that the gift appears to be the first of its kind by a bank in the nation.