Banking Coming To Your Local K Mart

Posted: July 27, 1987

The Blue Light Special at K mart is best known for offering a cut-rate price on items like underwear and socks.

But starting Sept. 8, K mart shoppers might find that by racing to the whirling Blue Light, they'll get a premium rate on a certificate of deposit. That's the date First Nationwide Bank will open branches in 13 Philadelphia area K mart stores.

The bank is opening a full-service, free-standing office in King of Prussia today.

First Nationwide, headquartered in San Francisco, is owned by Ford Motor Co., which bought the bank last year.

The bank's presence here should be good news for savers, said Gail Liberman, editor of Bank Rate Monitor, a financial newsletter.

"Their strategy has been to pay higher savings rates," she said, referring to the bank's entry into other markets. "They claim to have low overhead so they can pay more. It certainly represents a competitive threat to other

financial institutions."

Philadelphia usually ranks among the lowest of the nation's big cities in the newsletter's weekly survey of average savings rates paid by the biggest banks in the nation's largest metropolitan areas.

First Nationwide's K mart branches also will be open in the evening and Saturdays. Most other local banks are closed during those hours.

In January, First Nationwide announced that Pennsylvania would be among six states where the nation's third-largest savings bank would be opening 150 branches in K mart stores by year's end.

The bank has been operating branches in K mart stores in California for two years.

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