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ICBA Encourages Americans to Save during America Saves Week February 22 – March 1

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) is proud to add its voice to the nearly 1,000 organizations nationwide that are encouraging Americans to save as part of America Saves Week, which is celebrated from February 22 – March 1.

“Saving is key to financial stability and independence,” said Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West in Grapevine, Texas. “This economic environment continues to show us just how important it is to have a financial cushion in case the unexpected happens. During America Saves Week, ICBA encourages community bank customers to make savings a part of their everyday lives. Talk to your local community banker to set financial goals and create a savings plan. You’ll find that even small and regular savings can build up quickly thanks to compounding.”

Community banks offer important savings products and services to help their customers fulfill important financial goals, and since community banks are local, they put a premium on providing superior customer service in order to build a lasting financial relationship with their customers. “Whether you’re thinking about buying a home or car, saving for retirement or a child’s college education, the important thing to do is to create a plan with your community banker and start saving now,” said Blankenship.

Common savings vehicles include savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). The most important factors in choosing where to place your savings include:

  • Access. How quickly can you access your money? Community banks are local and offer an array of technology so that consumers have access to their money when and where they need it.
  • Safety. How safe is your money? At a community bank, the FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 per depositor and $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. No one has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. If you have more than $250,000 at a community bank, you can still be fully insured if your accounts meet certain requirements. Talk to your community banker for more information.
  • Earnings. How much money will you earn? Community banks offer competitive products and interest rates.

America Saves Week is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government organizations help individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, America Saves assists those who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement. Learn more about financial literacy and how to get started on building a nest egg at www.icba.org and www.americasaves.org.