Telebanc Rises to Top 40 with On-Line Depositors

By Hyman, Julie | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 5, 1999 | Go to article overview

Telebanc Rises to Top 40 with On-Line Depositors


Hyman, Julie, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Telebanc Financial Corp. has ridden the Internet banking trend to become one of the top 40 federally chartered savings banks.

The Arlington company, which operates as Telebank, surpassed $2 billion in customer deposits in its second quarter, it announced yesterday. It is the only pure Internet bank to achieve such a feat.

The bank nearly doubled its deposits from 1998, when they reached $1.1 billion, and continues to rely on the growing popularity of Internet banking to fuel its growth.

"Many branch-based banks are beginning to offer Internet banking. . . . Right now, it may be a niche, but long term, it's the way of the future," said Deborah Newman, Telebank's spokeswoman.

Telebank's power as an on-line financial-services force may be further strengthened after its acquisition by ETrade Group Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., brokerage and mutual fund company. The $1.8 billion deal is awaiting regulatory approval.

Both Telebank and ETrade are counting on the fact that many consumers like quick, efficient banking. Ms. Newman points to ATMs as a comparable phenomenon - used sparingly in the early 1990s, the convenient automated teller machines are now ubiquitous.

A recent report by Piper Jaffray Inc., a Minneapolis research firm, predicted that the number of households banking on line will more than quintuple in the next few years, from 4.4 million households in 1998 to 25 million by 2003.

Telebank's growth rate has been comparable. The bank was founded in 1989, offering service over the phone and by mail. …

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