Since 1823, Troy Savings Bank has been one of upstate New York's most active corporate citizens. Recently, the $675 million-asset bank spent $4 million to renovate the 1,200-seat Troy Music Hall.
Now Troy Savings is promising even more civic involvement. In celebration of its 175th anniversary, the bank is establishing a charitable foundation that will finance education, affordable-housing, and other worthy programs.
The bank is contributing $5 million to the foundation, which is expected to be up and running by June 30. Under guidelines for nonprofit institutions, the foundation will annually distribute grants and gifts equal to at least 5% of its investment assets.
"With all the consolidation of the last few years, banks aren't giving as much as they used to," said Daniel J. Hogarty Jr., Troy Savings' president and chief executive officer. The foundation, he added, will also allow the bank to "promote causes rather than just react to them."
Troy isn't the only New York community bank setting up a charitable foundation. Independence Savings Bank, a 148-year-old institution in Brooklyn Heights, announced last week that it is establishing a foundation with proceeds from its recent stock sale.
- Alan Kline
An Iowa-based group of community banks has created a vehicle for attracting older depositors: a quarterly travel magazine.
National Heritage Club is a group of 182 banks that offers programming to senior-citizen customers, such as a newsletter, tours, social activities, and financial planning.
Now the club, administered by First Citizens National Bank of Mason City, Iowa, is launching a glossy magazine about seniors' favorite pastime- travel.
Scheduled to begin appearing this spring, Heritage Banking & Travel is aimed at bank employees who run senior-citizen clubs at their institutions. It will include tips on organizing the clubs and carry stories on travel destinations that most appeal to senior citizens.
First Citizens launched a seniors club in 1980 as a marketing tool for 400 customers. It later taught other banks how to start their own seniors clubs, creating a Heritage Club network in 27 states. Today, the network has leverage to negotiate tour packages and other member benefits, said George Aker, president of First Citizens' Heritage Clubs International subsidiary.
The National Heritage Club hopes to have 500 bank members within five years, Mr. Aker said.
- Laura Pavlenko Lutton