Magazine article American Banker

Wachovia Aiming to Boost Its Presence in Atlanta Area with $100 Cash-Back Offer

Magazine article American Banker

Wachovia Aiming to Boost Its Presence in Atlanta Area with $100 Cash-Back Offer

Article excerpt

Taking advantage of growth and "turbulence" in the Atlanta market, Wachovia Corp. launched an aggressive bid for new accounts in Georgia with a $100 cash-back offer on selected products.

Wachovia, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., ran ads in weekend editions of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offering the $100 bonus until June 1 on premium checking accounts, money market accounts, brokerage accounts with checking privileges, and home equity lines of credit. Except for the checking account, which has no minimum balance, all the offers require a minimum $10,000 deposit or credit line.

Wachovia's move follows earlier initiatives by two competitors. In February, SunTrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, introduced a money market account with a 6.5% yield on balances of $10,000 or more. The two-month campaign proved expensive, but yielded about $2 billion of new deposits for SunTrust, according to the bank's first-quarter earnings report.

Charlotte, N.C.,-based First Union Corp. introduced a $50 cash-back promotion last month for customers who maintained a balance of at least $1,000 for 90 days in an interest-bearing checking account.

While SunTrust marketed its account throughout a three-state territory, First Union and Wachovia have targeted their promotions exclusively to customers in Georgia, particularly the booming Atlanta region.

"There's clearly an opportunity there to attract new customers because of the growth dimension as well as the turbulence dimension in that marketplace," said Gary Thompson, president and chief executive of Wachovia Bank of Georgia. …

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