County may consider bank switch
Lackawanna seeks options for better deal
Lackawanna County officials are exploring whether a new bank might benefit the county and its taxpayers.
While the county now uses PNC Bank, commissioners last month authorized a request for proposals for government banking services to obtain the highest-quality services at the lowest cost. That doesn’t necessarily mean the county will switch to another bank, but officials want to make sure the county gets the best deal possible, county Chief Financial Officer Tom Durkin said.
The county seeks proposals principally to manage its general fund, the primary fund from which county expenses are paid. Money in the general fund fluctuates, largely because it’s not an interest-bearing account. Officials often keep money in dozens of other accounts that accrue interest and use those accounts to reimburse the general fund when expenses are paid, county Treasurer Edward Karpovich said.
“(The treasurer’s office) watches the activity in the account very closely in order to transfer excess funds, not needed to offset bank charges, into interestbearing investments, in order to maximize the amount of interest earned by the county,” Durkin wrote in an email.
One thing officials will look for in the banking proposals is a general fund that accrues interest, Karpovich said, noting banks’ customer service operations are also key.
“The service end of it is very, very important,” Karpovich said. “Things happen where we need to remedy a situation quickly and immediately, so I need what banks call a relationship manager, where I can call him 24/7 and get an immediate answer to my problem.”
Among the other things the county will consider when ranking the proposals are banks’ ability to deliver timely service, their overall cost and service fees proposed and whether they have a presence in downtown Scranton near the Lackawanna County Government Center at the former Globe store on Wyoming Avenue, according to the RFP.
All proposals are due by 2 p.m. Dec. 11. They should be submitted to: Lackawanna County, Chief of Staff Office, 200 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18503. The county reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal.