The tale of WingspanBank's $150 million start-up advertising budget wasn't true, but it certainly was tantalizing.

It originated in mid-1999, when John McCoy, then the chief executive officer of Bank One Corp., said that the new online bank his company was setting up would add up to $150 million to annual operating expenses, and dilute earnings per share by about five cents a share in its first 12 months of operation.

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