NU Online News Service, Oct. 1, 12:55 p.m. – Allstate Financial Group, Northbrook, Ill., says it has launched its banking service, Allstate Bank, in California.

Allstate will offer mortgages, check accounts and certificates of deposit through its agents in California, and other states. Customers will have access to the bank’s services via a Web site and toll-free telephone number.

Allstate says it hopes its insurance customers will be lured over to its bank by offers of rates that are higher than average.