Striking Back

A bank joins the revolution

American bankers have watched in frustration in recent years while stock brokerages and other rival financial institutions have expanded into high-yielding money-market funds. Over the past three years, investors deposited an estimated $195 billion in these popular new savings plans, which pay high interest (recently an average of 13.9%) and operate much like a checking account.

Last week, however, San Francisco's Crocker National Bank, the twelfth largest in the U.S., announced that next month it will invade the turf of the money-market funds. Users of the bank's new Working Capital Account, which will require a $20,000 deposit to...

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