Safeway plans to expand its in-store banking service starting this fall through a new partnership with U.S. Bancorp.
U.S. Bancorp’s national bank subsidiary, U.S. Bank, has entered into an agreement with Fairfield, Calif.,-based Safeway to open 163 full-service, in-store banking centers over the next year and a half at stores in Arizona, California and Nevada.
U.S. Bank is the nation’s third-largest in-store, branch-banking network and will have a total of 446 in-store branches in 19 states once the expansion is completed with Safeway and Vons, a division of Safeway outside of Arizona.
In 2001, Safeway expanded its own Safeway Select brand to in-store branch banking.
Safeway Select Bank was the result of a strategic alliance between Safeway and Amicus FSB, a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, or CIBC, a former provider of electronic banking in the United States.
Last November, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced it was discontinuing its U.S. electronic banking operations, which included financial services under the Marketplace Bank and Safeway Select brands. It wasn’t Safeway’s decision to close the Safeway Select in-store branches.
Safeway has partnerships with several financial institutions across the country, including Bank of America, SunTrust Banks, Wells Fargo and now U.S. Bank, said Kerry Luginbill, Safeway’s director of public affairs in Arizona.
“In response to customer convenience and in-store service, and also requests that customers have extended to us, we felt that offering a more complete financial service was a good thing for our customers,” she said. “This is something that customers have asked for.”
It is not known which stores in the Valley will be selected to house U.S. Bank branches, Luginbill said.
“U.S. Bank has to go through some regulatory approval and also some building permit approvals,” she said. “They’re certainly in that process, but they haven’t received final approval on any particular locations. Both companies are working together to mutually identify locations that meet customer needs for both Safeway and U.S. Bank.”
Wells Fargo has in-store branches in 18 Safeway stores in the Valley, Luginbill said. The agreement with U.S. Bank will not affect those branches, she said.
Construction on the U.S. Bank branches is slated to begin this fall and should be completed by the end of 2004, she said.
The U.S. Bank branches will offer a full range of services and will be open seven days a week. Besides opening checking accounts, customers will be able to transact business on savings, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts and other investment vehicles, and get loans for cars, homes, boats, home improvement and debt consolidation.
“Our partnership with Safeway Inc. is a great way to reach out to busy people who like the convenience of one-stop shopping,” said Richard Davis, vice chairman of commercial and consumer banking for U.S. Bancorp.