Maybe it is a sign of the 1990s, but our weekly Adviser contest for December, on the question of how your bank handles charitable contributions, received far fewer responses than did our November contest on the issue of the in-bank affair.

Still, as one respondent put it to me on the phone (so there would be no written trail of his views), "Most bank managers either have no formal policy on charity or they give to the groups that flatter their own egos. So why would they tell you about their policy for publication in the American Banker?"

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