In an attempt to avoid what Mayor Harold Dielmann called "a slap in the face" for banks located within city limits, City Council members voted Monday night to extend its banking services agreement with , pushing back a city staff suggestion that would have landed city business at UMB Bank, in Maryland Heights.
According to a staff report, of the four banks which submitted a bid for the services, Pulaski Bank had the lowest bid. UMB's offer was the least expensive, thanks to other factors, including an earnings credit in the city's favor.
City Finance Director Dan Smith endorsed the move to UMB, carefully saying that he wasn't "saying that any of these banks wouldn't do a good job," but that the UMB proposal also offered better check security features and was rated well in an independent survey.
The switch to an out-of-town bank drew the ire of Mayor Dielmann, as well as Ward 3 Councilmembers Bob Hoffman and Charlotte D'Alfonso, who made the case for doing business locally.
When D'Alfonso asked which bank would have been Smith's second choice, he said was the next least expensive option, while also providing a stronger and more natioanlly known alternative to Pulaski.
Hoffman then moved the question of remaining with Pulaski, which passed 6-0. Councilmembers Jeanne Rhoades and David Kreuter were absent.
Under terms of the previous agreement, Smith Pulaski provided the city with free courier service but were not making the same offer in the current proposal. Smith said would now handle those duties.