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IIAA's Bank Opens

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With Connecticut Governor John Rowland leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 17, the doors opened to InsurBanc, the Independent Insurance Agents of Americas program to provide banking services to customers through the independent agency system.

The full-service savings institution is headquartered in Farmington, Conn.

Aside from the office headquarters, InsurBanc will be an e-commerce bank, with services available by telephone or fax as well as online.

In its first day of operation, the bank received some deposits and loan applications, says InsurBanc’s CEO, Michael W. Herlihy.

Under the terms of its charter, independent agencies will not become branch offices, Herlihy explains. Instead, agents will refer customers to the banks officers for services. The agents will receive a fee for those customers who sign up.

“We are not turning independent agents into bankers,” says Herlihy. “We are giving them the tools to compete effectively in the community.”

Despite limits on the initial customer base, the size of the group is not small, notes Herlihy. Operating in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, the bank will have a population of 3,200 agencies representing 22,000 agency employees and agents to draw from, he says.

The bank is jointly owned by IIAA, W.R. Berkley Corp. of Greenwich, Conn., and Berkley subsidiaries.

Mark E. Ruquet is a staff writer for NU’s Property & Casualty/Risk & Benefits Management Edition.

Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 4, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.

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