Magazine article American Banker

To Placate Small Banks, Mint to Rush-Deliver 50 Million Dollar Coins

Magazine article American Banker

To Placate Small Banks, Mint to Rush-Deliver 50 Million Dollar Coins

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -

Reacting to howls of protest, the U.S. Mint is planning to expedite delivery of an additional 50 million recently released Gold Dollar coins to community banks.

"This is a direct response to the banks," U.S. Mint Director Philip N. Diehl said Wednesday. "Those banks are our partners, and we are committed to responding to their interests and needs."

Mr. Diehl declined to discuss specifics of the plan, but a draft proposal circulating this week states that on March 1, any community bank, credit union, or small thrift may order as many as 2,000 of the coins. If supplies last, institutions will be able to place second orders for up to 2,000 coins on or after March 15.

The coins are to be shipped directly to the banks by registered mail, rather than through district Federal Reserve banks.

The new supply of 50 million is in addition to the 100 million coins already being delivered through the Fed.

A U.S. Mint marketing effort that began Jan. 30 pumped 94 million of the coins into the registers of Wal-Mart stores but left small bankers in the embarrassing position of having to direct customers who wanted the coin to the giant retailer's nearest outlet.

Bankers interviewed shortly after the coin's release characterized the deal with Wal-Mart as "a slap in the face" to banks.

"The (bankers') response was stronger than we expected, but understandable, because the public's demand for the coin was also much stronger than we expected," Mr. …

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