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US Bank to Offer Half-Percent Rate Discount for Eco-Friendly Vehicles

April 22, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Bank has created a new auto loan program that offers a half-percent rate reduction on loans for vehicles certified by the EPA as environmentally-friendly "SmartWay" vehicles. It is the first major bank in the United States to offer this type of loan.

"U.S. Bank had taken great strides in adopting and promoting environmentally-friendly business practices among its employees and customers, with everything from encouraging electronic transactions to finding new ways to support green habits such as offering this discount on loans for environmentally-friendly vehicles," said Lisa O’Brien, director of environmental affairs at U.S. Bank.

The SmartWay designation identifies vehicles that offer low emissions and good fuel economy. By offering the discount, U.S. Bank can reward customers who want to have more positive impact on the environment but don’t want to restrict their purchase to a hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicle. Approximately 16 percent of all 2009 vehicles are SmartWay and can be identified by a special designation on the vehicle sticker.

"Including EPA-certified SmartWay vehicles in programs like this is a great way to lower greenhouse gas emissions," said Margo Oge, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "We applaud companies that develop initiatives that benefit both the consumer and the environment."

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