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Federated Financial

From: ASAP


Brings New Level of Financial Services to Online Users With Comprehensive, Objective Information and Advice in Easy-to-Use Site Federated Department Stores, Inc. today announced it has launched www.itrust.com -- a comprehensive online department store of financial products and services to help consumers take more control of their financial lives. iTrust(SM) puts banking, investments, home mortgages, insurance and financial planning tools into a convenient portal where customers can expect fast approvals, competitive interest rates and prices, low fees and customized planning tools to help them manage their finances.

Federated developed iTrust to serve the financial services needs of its employees and customers, and ultimately, the general public.

"iTrust distinguishes itself by the value it delivers to consumers -- terrific savings and loan rates, as well as comprehensive and objective financial advice. It offers the best product and service advice for users from a number of best-in-class providers across the financial services landscape," said Terry Gorbach, senior vice president for financial services of FACS Group, Inc. FACS, Federated's financial, administrative and credit services division, manages iTrust.

"Federated has successfully provided centralized financial services for decades with our proprietary store-brand credit cards, and later with credit and accidental death/disability insurance offerings," explained Gorbach. "iTrust is a natural extension for Federated. We're building on our expertise in providing high quality/high value products and services to customers, which includes helping them take better control of their financial lives."

Federated has more than 20 million active proprietary cardholders and more than half are active Internet users who are online almost every day. Women account for 70 percent of Federated's customer base, and now comprise more than 50 percent of all online users. The number of Americans using online banking was 16 million in 2000, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2001.

"We're excited about iTrust's ability to leverage Federated's significant expertise in providing financial services, although we do not believe this initiative will be financially material for the corporation, at least in the short term," said Karen H. Hoguet, Federated senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Federated's strategic advantage with this model is its inherent power and experience in driving customers to value-based product offerings. The iTrust portal gives consumers convenient access to a department store of financial products and services from best- in-class strategic partners. These partners are Ameritrade(R)(a) for investments, PFN Investment Management for financial planning, eHealthInsurance(R) for individual, family and short-term health insurance, FDS Bank (Equal Housing Lender) for home mortgages, NetBank(R) for FDIC-insured high-interest checking, money market and CD accounts and Pivot for Life and Property and Casualty Insurance.

Financial planning functions on iTrust are built around life events and can be customized to a person's unique situation, including building personal to-do lists and planners to keep your plan on track. "iTrust is an objective resource and tool that allows you to learn about financial issues and obtain unbiased recommendations to achieve your financial goals as life events occur. It provides the user with peace of mind," Gorbach said.

Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $18.4 billion. Federated currently operates more than 450 department stores in 34 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, under the names of Macy's, Bloomingdale's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith's, Lazarus and Rich's, as well as macys.com, bloomingdales.com and Bloomingdale's By Mail. Federated also operates the Fingerhut subsidiary.

(a) (Note: Brokerage services provided exclusively by Ameritrade, Inc., a registered broker, member NASD/SIPC. Investments purchased through Ameritrade are not FDIC-insured, are not bank guaranteed, and may lose value, including loss of principal. Ameritrade is a registered trademark of Ameritrade Holding Corporation.)

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