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Press Releases

July 24, 2007

Alvina McHale
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service

U.S. Treasury Recognizes Nine Financial Institutions as Go Direct "Champions"

Seven banks, two credit unions take top spots in competition to enroll Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check recipients in direct deposit

Washington, D.C. - (July 24, 2007) As part of its national Go Direct campaign, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is recognizing nine financial institutions for their exceptional results in helping people switch their Social Security payments from paper checks to direct deposit. The winners will be recognized today as Go Direct Champions at a ceremony at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.

"Financial institutions have played a key role in the success of Go Direct, which has generated more than one million direct deposit conversions in the past two years - and the banks and credit unions we are recognizing today as Champions deserve Treasury's special thanks," said Kenneth R. Papaj, Commissioner of Treasury's Financial Management Service. "Direct deposit is good for Treasury, financial institutions, and their customers or members. This is truly a win-win campaign: for financial institutions, their customers and members, and the American taxpayers."

A total of 133 financial institutions - representing more than 25,000 branches nationwide - participated in the Go Direct Champions program, which tracked their increases in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) ACH payments over a six-month period ending June 30, 2007. Participating banks and credit unions were grouped in three tiers according to size - small, medium and large - and the top three performers in each of the tiers are being recognized as Champions.

The Go Direct Champions are:

Large Tier Champions
   First Place - Washington Mutual, Seattle
   Second Place - Citibank, New York
   Third Place - Chase, New York

Medium Tier Champions
   First Place - Woodforest National Bank, The Woodlands, Texas
   Second Place - Commerce Bank National Association, Cherry Hill, N.J.
   Third Place - First National Bank Texas, Killeen, Texas

Small Tier Champions
   First Place: Interstate Unlimited Federal Credit Union, Jesup, Ga.
   Second Place: Utilities Employees Credit Union, Sinking Spring, Pa.
   Third Place: Guaranty Bank, Milwaukee, Wis.

In addition to these nine winners, 58 other participating financial institutions also performed better than the industry average in their respective tiers. More than 700 financial institutions are involved in the overall Go Direct campaign to inform federal benefit recipients about the advantages of direct deposit and to help them sign up for it.

About Go Direct

The Go Direct campaign supports Treasury's longstanding efforts to shift from paper payments to the safer, easier and more secure option of direct deposit. Go Direct has established Web sites, www.GoDirect.org (English) and www.DirectoASuCuenta.org (Spanish), where people and organizations can learn more about the campaign and the benefits of direct deposit, as well as sign up online for direct deposit of federal benefits. The campaign also has toll-free numbers to help people sign up for direct deposit right over the telephone: 800-333-1795 (English) and 800-333-1792 (Spanish).

Partnering financial institutions encourage their customers or members to switch to direct deposit during the first week of every month - when most people cash or deposit their Social Security or SSI checks. Branch tellers offer to enroll people on the spot or direct them to call the Go Direct toll-free helpline or sign up online at www.GoDirect.org.

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