Magazine article American Banker

Dime Entering Trust Business with Threshold at $150,000

Magazine article American Banker

Dime Entering Trust Business with Threshold at $150,000

Article excerpt

Dime Savings Bank of New York is planning to offer trust services by the end of this year to clients with about $150,000 of assets.

In doing so, it is targeting New Yorkers long neglected by trust managers.

The city is home to many stalwarts of the traditionally upscale trust business. Among them: Bank of New York Co., Chase Manhattan Corp., Fiduciary Trust Company International, J.P. Morgan & Co., and U.S. Trust Corp., which market themselves as corporate fiduciaries for people with seven-figure trusts.

Administering trusts for millionaires is costly because it often involves careful husbanding of complicated assets, such as art collections or commercial real estate holdings. Trustees may also get caught between sparring-and occasionally litigating-family members. With all that on their hands, most banks are not interested in small trusts.

"Trust services for the emerging affluent are not available," said J. Edward Diamond, president of Dime Securities Inc. "Go into most banks, and trust is truly daunting, with the high minimums."

Dime Savings, a federally chartered thrift with $20 billion of assets and 90 offices, inherited trust powers from a predecessor institution, Anchor Savings Bank, which had not used the authority.

"'Private banking' is a loaded phrase," Mr. Diamond said. "It has a connotation of oriental rugs and $3 million minimums. That's not what we're doing at all."

Private banking itself is a new thrust for Dime, where it is an amalgam of banking and investments for customers with household incomes greater than $75,000. …

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