Establishing fiscally responsible habits is important for every age and stage of life
Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and community banks nationwide are celebrating Financial Literacy Month in April and encouraging Americans to take control of their financial future by learning fiscally responsible habits and putting these lessons into practice.
Only one-third of adults can answer at least four of five financial literacy questions on fundamental concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk. And 78 percent of U.S. adults believe that despite what they already know about personal finance, they could still benefit from financial advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.
“Community bankers are uniquely qualified to help bridge this knowledge gap and can help consumers establish a strong financial footing that will serve them well in setting their financial goals and planning for the future,” said Robert M. Fisher, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, N.Y.
Often referred to as America’s favorite lenders, community banks are financial experts with a wealth of knowledge and local expertise that make them uniquely suited to help consumers reach their financial potential through assistance with:
- Budgeting to help track income and expenses and build a plan for managing finances, reaching financial goals, and creating a nest egg.
- Saving and investing to help customers assess appropriate savings and investment goals and vehicles based on how much, how accessible, or anticipated timelines.
- Using credit effectively to establish and maintain good credit so individuals can reap the benefit from this convenient and flexible form of payment without the consequences of mismanagement.
- Understanding debt load and available options like debt consolidation.
“Knowledge is power and in the case of financial literacy, it can put consumers on the path to financial security and generational wealth that builds stronger communities,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Community banks offer important savings products and services to help fulfill financial goals at every age and life stage—whether saving for a car or continuing education, funding a down payment or small business, or planning for a vacation or retirement.”
ICBA also offers financial literacy programs through community bank partners including Visa’s Practical Money Skills, the FDIC’s Money Smart initiative and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. To find a community bank in your area visit, banklocally.org.
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA 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.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.