Four Banks Bid to Hold County Money - The Missourian: Local News

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Four Banks Bid to Hold County Money

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:00 pm

The Franklin County Commission failed in its first attempt to find a bank interested in holding public funds.

But the second attempt proved successful Tuesday.

In May, the county commission learned that no banks had expressed interest in holding millions of dollars in Franklin County funds.

That forced the county to re-evaluate the bid criteria and solicit offers a second time.

The main aspect that was changed in the county’s new bid request was the amount of money that the banks had to provide upfront as a “guaranty of good faith.”

The original request asked the banks to put up $400,000, but the revised one asked for $30,000.

The hope going into the new bid process was that the banks would be more inclined to bid if it meant that they would not have to tie up so much money.

As part of their bids, the banks provided certified checks to cover the upfront amount, but those checks are returned to the banks at the completion of the bid process.

If the bank that is chosen is unable to provide the securities by law, then the amount of the certified check will go to the county as liquidated damages.

It appears this may have made a difference in the number of banks offering to bid, as the county commission opened proposals from four banks on Tuesday.

Bids were received from First Bank of St. Louis, the Bank of Franklin County, US Bank, and First State Community Bank of Washington.

The commissioners took the bids under advisement Tuesday.

Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said it is unclear when a decision will be made on which bank is chosen.

In May, the county commissioners learned that the Bank of Washington, which has served as the county’s depository for decades, was no longer interested in the business.

Citing the low interest rates, the Bank of Washington said it was no longer economically feasible to be the county’s depository.

The Bank of Washington has pledged to cooperate with Franklin County as it goes through the transition of moving the county’s funds to a new depository.

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