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U.S. Bank and IRS Offer Low Cost Tax Refund Check Cashing as Tax Preparation Season Kicks into High Gear

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Mar 11, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- U.S. Bank and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Sacramento have partnered to offer participants of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program the opportunity to cash tax refund checks for a flat $5 versus the typical 10 percent fee charged at check cashing facilities.

The discounted check cashing option is geared for VITA participants who earn $36,000 or less and do not have bank accounts. The goal is to offer a low cost option and ultimately encourage them to open a checking account, which is safer and cheaper in the long run. Check cashing services are provided free of charge to U.S. Bank customers, plus they have the security of knowing that their money is safe, unlike carrying large amounts of cash.

"We hope that in addition to providing a low cost alternative, we can also provide good information and banking service to those who do not have a bank account," said Sandy Thompson, district manager for U.S. Bank in Sacramento. "Participating in programs that make an impact on the community in this way is a great example of our commitment to provide Five Star Service Guaranteed."

The program is being tested in the Sacramento region. Participants will receive a certificate written in English and Spanish that can be used to cash their refund check at the following U.S. Bank locations: 11111 Olson Drive in Rancho Cordova, 120 West Court in Woodland, 2460 Watt Avenue in Sacramento, 3418 Broadway in Sacramento, 950 Florin Road in Sacramento, 1401 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento and 903 Colusa in Yuba City.

"Ultimately, we would like to see this become a model program across the United States for those seeking to cash the refund checks that they have worked so hard to earn," said Robert Meyer, territory manager with IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) in Sacramento.

U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of $180 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,142 banking offices and 4,604 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

CONTACT:          U.S. Bancorp
                  Steve Dale, 612/303-0784
                  Teri Charest, 612/303-0732

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SOURCE: U.S. Bancorp

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

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