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WHILE BANKS GET RICHER, HONEST CUSTOMERS LOSE

In a March 11 News article on bankruptcies, a senior vice president of a major local bank showed us his true priorities -- responsible lending not being one of them. He appears to make no differentiation between a properly collateralized loan and the type of loan that arguably has no redeeming value. Banks lending money for homes and automobiles are lending money for useful purposes. The bank also has a certain level of security in collateral, which can be seen as responsible lending by bank's depositors. Until recently, either loan would be for an amount less than the sale price of the collateral.

Credit cards are the most risky form of personal loan, as is demonstrated by their users. When these loans go bad and bankruptcies abound, the bank officers creating the poor policies that allow such loans do not chip in a portion of their salaries to make up the difference. Those same officers lower interest rates to the very people who trust them with their hard-earned dollars for good investments, and raise them for the people who do honor their debts. The honest people pay for such irresponsibility.

I do not recall hearing that either CEO of the defunct Empire Savings Bank or Goldome Bank has gone on without his golden parachute, while investors and savers all across the country lost great percentages of their financial futures.

WILLIAM J. BROCK Buffalo

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