Cole Taylor Acquires Land Trusts from Harris to Boost Fee Income

Article excerpt

CIHICAGO - Cole Taylor Bank continued its drive to boost fee income by purchasing the land trust business of Harris Trust and Savings Bank last week.

Cole Taylor will acquire 3,600 land trust accounts from the downtown subsidiary of Harris Bankcorp, whose parent is Bank of Montreal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will make Cole Taylor one of the top five land trustees in the Chicago area, the company said. The Wheeling, Ill.-based bank currently manages 5,400 land trust accounts.

Noninterest Income Soars

"The steady fee income generated by trusts is very important to the financial growth of the bank," said Mark Neil, group executive of trust services.

Total noninterest income at Cole Taylor Financial Group rose by more than 50%, from $5.2 million in the first half of 1992, to $8.5 million at March 31, 1993, according to company reports.

Though much of the bank's gain in noninterest income came from a legal settlement, the bank expects fee income to increase by 30% this year

Land trusts allow estate holders to more easily transfer title ownership, and to avoid costly inheritance and other taxes, said Mr. …