An article in Saturday's Business section erroneously said that Suburban Federal Savings & Loan Association had extended its hours last week and was expediting its loan processing. The reference should have been to Suburban Bank.
When the phone rang yesterday at Citizens Savings & Loan Association Inc., a woman answered confidently, "Citizens Savings. Federally Insured."
"We started answering the phones that way this week," said a Citizens Savings official who asked not to be named. "Since the word 'federal' is not in our bank's name, we want to make sure that consumers know this bank has federal insurance."
In the midst of Maryland's worst financial crisis, several federally insured savings and loans and commercial banks are actively pursuing depositors that have money tied up in thrifts insured by the Maryland Savings-Share Insurance Corp.
The increase this week in federally insured accounts illustrates how one bank's losses are another bank's gains. "We have had more new accounts opened this week, and have received more deposits than we usually receive," said Robert J. Smith, president of Maryland Federal Savings & Loan Association.
"We are experiencing more new accounts than usual," said Thomas J. Owen, president of Perpetual American Federal Savings, the only thrift that has branches in Maryland, Virginia and the District.
"Since last week, we've had considerably more deposits than we have ever experienced in the past," said Citizens President Enos K. Fry.
Citizens ran a large newspaper advertisement yesterday with the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corp. seal prominently displayed. "Go for the absolutely sure, safe and certain," the ad says.
"We just wanted to slow down the questions and phone calls about whether Citizens is federally insured," a Citizens official said.
Washington Federal Savings & Loan Association, another FSLIC institution, also ran a large newspaper ad yesterday. Under the message, "Your Security Blanket at Washington Federal," was a blanket etched with the FSLIC seal.
"We had a twofold purpose for running that ad," said Washington Federal Chairman Bill Sinclair. "We want to assure our customers that we're federally insured, and we want to hopefully attract people who want to get their money out of MSSIC institutions."
Suburban Federal Savings & Loan Association officials said that for the first time, most of its branches will be open Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Suburban also is expediting its loan processing, according to officials there. "We usually wouldn't make an installment loan for a small amount of money, but we are now," said spokeswoman Deannna Belli.
Belli said that new deposits at Suburban, from people who had accounts in MSSIC institutions, has been "quite significant." The funds have primarily been put into new checking accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit, Belli said.
Union Trust Bank is offering secured loans from $1,000 to $80,000 for consumers and businesses that have money tied up in MSSIC savings and loan associations. Katy Ryan, spokeswoman for the bank, said that the MSSIC accounts will be used as collateral.
"These loans will be probably used for the hardship cases," Ryan said, explaining that the loans are primarily for people who need to make car payments, close on a home purchase, or make tuition payments.
The First Women's Bank of Maryland, which is federally insured, also is offering a special loan service to area residents affected by the withdrawal limits at MSSIC institutions.
Deborah McGuire, president of First Women's Bank, said that it is offering "prompt loan service within 24 hours, if possible, to qualified persons in need of funds that ordinarily they would draw from their S&L accounts."
First Women's Bank said that it will offer a personal line of credit up to $5,000 for MSSIC customers, with the interest and size of the loan determined according to need.