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ICBA Applauds Reps. Hinojosa and Biggert for Resolution on Financial Literacy Month

ICBA Community Banking Month Opens Opportunity for Financial Literacy

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) strongly supports the bi-partisan congressional resolution Recognizing the Goals and Ideals of Financial Literacy Month (H.Res.1079) designating April as "Financial Literacy Month," which calls on government, non-profit organizations and the private sector to raise public awareness about the importance of financial education in the United States and the serious consequences that can result from a lack of understanding about personal finances.

"Managing money wisely is critical to success in life," said Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Irving, Texas. "Too many Americans lack the skill and knowledge to make appropriate financial decisions. The more consumers and young adults know, the better they are at managing their finances, and the better they manage their finances, the more likely they are to enjoy a secure financial future."

"We commend Reps. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Tex.) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) for introducing a resolution that supports the goals and ideas of Financial Literacy Month," said Blankenship. "Financial education is important for today's consumers so that they can understand and make good decisions when faced with the complex array of financial products and services available."

ICBA encourages its nearly 5,000 member community banks to support the goals of Financial Literacy Month by promoting financial literacy programs during ICBA Community Banking Month in April, as well as throughout the year. ICBA has an on-going commitment to improving financial literacy by forging government, nonprofit and private-sector partnerships, such as the Jump$tart Coalition and America Saves.

ICBA recognizes community banks for their outstanding financial literacy efforts within their community through the National Community Bank Service Award Financial Literacy Award. For 2007, two community banks received recognition:

Howard Bank, Ellicott City, Md., was honored for its financial literacy program by donating more than $70,000 and volunteering countless hours to local schools, community groups and non-profit associations needing help with financial literacy.

1st Centennial Bank, Redlands, Calif., was honored for developing curriculum that teaches the basics of money management such as saving, budgeting, spending and using credit wisely. 1st Centennial offers the program and provides all materials for free.

For more information, visit www.icba.org.