FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Encourages Direct Deposit of Social Security Benefits
Eliminates Risk of Lost or Stolen Checks, Reduces Fraud
Washington, D.C. (February 9, 2006) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) is joining organizations and community banks across the country in February as part of national "Go Direct Month" awareness campaign to encourage individuals to use Direct Deposit for federal government benefit checks.
"Direct Deposit is one of the easiest, safest and most convenient ways for people to access their money," said David Hayes, ICBA chairman, and chairman and CEO of the Security Bank, Dyersburg, Tenn. "For people who receive Social Security payments, Direct Deposit is simply the best way to receive their payments because it eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks, reduces fraud and gives them more control over their money and their time."
A surprisingly high number of Social Security recipients still receive their benefits by paper check. Recent analysis by the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows that about 20 percent of people who receive federal benefits under Social Security do not have Direct Deposit. "Community banks are vital in helping the government sign up Social Security recipients for Direct Deposit particularly as the nation's 77 million baby boomers start retiring," said Hayes.
Go Direct and February's designation as Go Direct Month are sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.org.