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Friday, October 13, 2000

slaps its name on
new bank branches

From staff and wire reports

Safeway Inc. has launched its own private-label bank to go along with its brand of vitamins, soft drinks, cookies and pasta.

The supermarket giant has unveiled online mini-branches operating under the banner of Safeway Select Bank in three stores -- one each in Sacramento, San Jose and Denver -- and said it plans to spread the concept to other branches in the West.

The company said it will not bring its own bank brand to any of its 19 supermarkets in Hawaii. "We have an existing agreement with another bank" and the agreement won't allow the company to bring its own bank to the islands, said Debra Lambert, a spokeswoman at Safeway's Pleasanton, Calif., headquarters.

Safeway has full-service Bank of Hawaii branches in five of its stores in the islands: Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Mililani, Waipahu and Kahului, Maui.

Safeway is teaming up in the venture with Illinois-based Amicus Federal Savings Bank, the e-banking subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto, to offer Safeway customers a full complement of no-fee checking, savings accounts, loans and Internet banking services through special kiosks called pavilions.

The pavilions feature an automated teller machine, a personal computer offering online banking, a customer service telephone, and staff members to help shoppers open accounts and answer inquiries.

As part of a pilot program, Amicus plans to set up pavilions in 25 Safeway stores with an eye toward expansion in the next two or three years.

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