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First Bank in Nation for Children Opens in Denver

August 4, 1987

DENVER (AP) _ Nearly 100 youngsters lined up Monday to open accounts at the nation’s first bank for children, the Young Americans Bank.

″As of this moment, we’ve opened 95 accounts,″ bank president Roger Knight said 20 minutes before closing.

″They’re all very interested, all very serious, very appreciative and eager to get started ... on this part of their education,″ Knight said, adding that the customers ranged in age from 7 to 22.

Checking account customers under 18 have to have checks co-signed by their parents, with a maximum of $30 per check for those under 15 and $100 for those under 18.

The bank is the brainchild of Denver cable-TV magnate Bill Daniels, who put up $1.5 million. His aim is to teach children about banking.

″It’s a cute idea, but I don’t think it will be a profitable one,″ said John Fisher, senior vice president at Banc One Corp., an $18 billion bank holding company in Columbus, Ohio.

Experts say the Young Americans Bank is geared toward the type of customer most banks want to avoid: those with low balances, potentially high transactions and small loan amounts.

″Some activitites are going to be inherently not profitable, we realize that, but we are going to be profitable,″ said Phil Hogue, chairman of the Young Americans Bank.

Hogue said the bank would continue to solicit support from corporations, asking them to put large sums of money in non-interest bearing certificates of deposit.

The bank, which plans to invest heavily in student loans, will offer classes on money and banking.

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