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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Encourages Americans to Save During “America Saves” Week

Community banks are here to help consumers achieve financial stability

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 22, 2013)—The Independent Community Bankers of America ® (ICBA) is proud to add community bankers’ voices to the nearly 2,000 organizations nationwide that are encouraging Americans to save as part of America Saves Week, Feb. 25 – March 2, 2013. This nationwide campaign features a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government organizations that are committed to raising awareness of the importance of creating savings funds, building an emergency fund or paying off debt.

“It’s never too late to start saving and developing good saving habits to achieve financial stability and independence,” Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb., said. “By participating in America Saves Week, ICBA and the nation’s nearly 7,000 community banks are raising awareness of the importance of a savings plan and offering tips on how consumers can reach their savings goals. As a community banker, nothing makes me happier than seeing my customers realize their financial goals. I hope all consumers will take this advice to heart and be empowered to save.”

America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to help promote positive savings behavior and for families and individuals to save and build wealth. Learn more about why saving is so important and how to get started on building a nest egg at www.americasavesweek.org.

“Community banks are excellent resources for consumers to utilize during America Saves Week and every week of the year. Main Street bankers are willing to take time and discuss ways to help consumers reach their financial goals,” Terry Jorde, ICBA senior executive vice president and chief of staff, said. “Beginning to save for your future can be daunting at times, but it is something every American needs to consider. No effort is too small, and with the help of your local community bank, creating and maintaining savings funds is as easy as 1, 2, 3.”

  1. Set a goal: People are more successful when they have certain goals in mind, so create and share a savings goal with your family and friends. Start small—even saving your loose change can get you somewhere. If you set aside $1.50 a day for one year, you can garner an emergency fund of at least $500. Aim to start a path toward building an emergency fund of savings with six to nine months of living expenses.
  2. Make a plan: By creating a spending plan, which is a guide to help you take better control of your finances by tracking where your money goes, list your expenses and compare them to your income. The plan will help prioritize necessities and wants for the month. Attempt to use your credit cards more efficiently, too. Doing that can help ensure that you will not take on too much debt and can minimize interest charges.
  3. Save automatically: Join a retirement plan at work, if possible. Many employers offer regular payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving money. Make it a routine to automatically put aside a certain amount of money each paycheck. Every penny, nickel and dime counts!

It is also important to consider these factors in choosing where to place your savings:

  • Access. How quickly can you access your money? Community banks are locally run and typically use up-to-the-minute technology so that customers can access their money when and where they need it.
  • Safety. How safe is your money? At community banks, the FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 per depositor. No one has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.
  • Earnings. How much money will you earn? Community banks offer personalized customer service tailored to individual needs and savings products that are sometimes better than larger institutions.

To find a community bank near you, visit www.banklocally.org. To learn more about community banks, visit www.icba.org and follow @ICBA on Twitter.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit www.icba.org.