Magazine article American Banker

Comerica Waiving Fees on Checking Accounts to Lure Small-Biz Clients

Magazine article American Banker

Comerica Waiving Fees on Checking Accounts to Lure Small-Biz Clients

Article excerpt

Faced with increasing competition in its home state of Michigan, Comerica Inc. on Monday unveiled its strategy to court small businesses by offering them checking accounts with no monthly maintenance or transaction fees for one year.

The Detroit-based Comerica is targeting Michigan businesses with average annual sales of less than $10 million.

Such companies that open checking accounts through March 29 will get a free order of checks, overdraft protection, and free online banking and bill payment services for six months. Also, owners who open a business checking account and then open personal checking accounts, take out home equity loans, or make stock trades will have their fees waived on these products and services.

Thomas Fisher, senior vice president of small-business banking at $50 billion-asset Comerica, said in an interview that the company hopes the promotion will attract new customers who then buy other products and services. "If we get them in the door to just try us, the relationship grows."

Clayton Faw, who oversees small-business products at Comerica, said the promotion will help them implement a "long-term strategy" to increase the number of small-business checking accounts.

"This is to keep our numbers going the right way," he said. "We have had success with these promotions in the past."

Comerica, which calls itself one of the nation's 20 largest small-business lenders, says it is aiming to increase its small-business checking accounts by 5% this year, but it would not say how many accounts it currently has. …

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