BANKING: Financial Trouble for Feminists

When the First Women's Bank opened a year ago on Manhattan's 57th Street, it was heralded as the answer to a feminist prayer. Founded by a small group of activists, among them Author Betty Friedan and Dress Designer Pauline Trigère, the new bank was supposed to be run as well as owned primarily by women and to give "special attention to the needs" of female depositors and borrowers who felt unwelcome at big, established banks. If such a venture'can be a commercial success, the first year has hardly proved the point.

Since the...

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