February 13, 2009

Green banking means combining operational improvements and technology, and changing client habits. For example, remote deposit means growth without bricks and mortar, ACH payments slash outgoing mail and e-statements save trees -- money spent on these initiatives will bring returns long after the current period of tight belts.

Green Bank looks at green banking in three areas -- operational, technological and client acceptance. We've made improvements in the operational area such as replacing our daily courier service with scans and electronic delivery. All of our employees receive paychecks and reimbursement checks electronically.

Green Bank has also simplified its account structure. We now offer a single retail and two business checking accounts; there is one money market account (MMA) for all customers. By tightening our offering, we have taken a closet of printed material and reduced it to a cabinet. It has also significantly reduced the number of monthly reports.

We're currently working with our core system provider to develop a new system that will allow retail customers to use home scanners to make check deposits. We're providing check scanners at no cost to all business account customers.

A good online banking system is the linchpin of reduced costs, improved performance and competitiveness. We provide the service at no cost to our retail and business customers. The logical progression of online banking -- converting existing customers to online bill payment -- is a harder step and can require a lot of legwork. Once customers get here, there is the chance of moving to completely electronic banking.

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Theresa McLaughlin, Citizens Group EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Citizens Bank
Rodney Nelsestuen, Research Director, Financial Strategies and IT Investment, TowerGroup
Geoff Greenwade, President and CEO, Green Bank
Patricia M. McGinnis, Research Director, Corporate Banking, IDC Financial Insights