Magazine article American Banker

St. Louis Thrift Seeks to Offer Divorce Clients a 'New start.'(Roosevelt Financial Group Inc.)

Magazine article American Banker

St. Louis Thrift Seeks to Offer Divorce Clients a 'New start.'(Roosevelt Financial Group Inc.)

Article excerpt

When Angela Lee went looking for a new checking account, she was stunned to find a bank that actually catered to her, a woman going through a divorced.

The last place the 33-year-old secretary expected to find solace was a bank -an institution not typically known for warmth or concern over customers' personal lives.

But St. Louis-based Roosevelt Financial Group Inc. is trying to change that image - and pick up a few customers along the way - with a program called New Start.

The month-old checking and savings program is primarily a marketing push. There's no favored pricing for divorcees. However, if customers have credit problems, the thrift will help them get loans, assuming collateral is available.

The program includes coupons for discount credit reports, three-month free trials of telephone bill paying, and a free box of checks. A list of books about divorce, including one written by children's television personality Fred Rogers, is also provided.

The information is made available at bank branches and through a network of divorce attorneys, mediators, and marriage counselors.

"This is a different segment of the population," said Anat Bird, Roosevelt's chief operating officer. "We'd expect there are some issues we would work with."

New Start's promotional materials are illustrated with a sunrise over mountains. The packet contains a list of area divorce lawyers, marriage counselors, and support groups, in addition to information about bank accounts. …

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