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In an attempt to ease the credit crunch, help social programs, boost the local economy and garner favorable publicity, Worcester's Flagship Bank has created what appears to be a first-in-the-state investment plan using FDIC-insured passbook deposits.
Though there are other banks in the state with social consciences that as a matter of course give out loans to worthy (but sound) causes, it appears none have outlined such a specific program.
However, at the Vermont National Bank, customers can open any account--an IRA, CD, checking or savings--and specify that money as "socially responsible," or for environmental, educational or housing investments.
News of the Worcester Fund has spread rapidly throughout the banking community; Providence city officials, for example, have already asked the bank for …