Sioux Center school banks give students unique savings incentive


Bringing banking into schools is a great way to introduce children to the benefits of saving. Thanks to a partnership between four banks – American State Bank, Northwest Bank, Peoples Bank and Primebank – and the Dordt College Center for Economic Education, students in Sioux Center are receiving such hands-on financial education.

Like most school banks, students work as tellers, but unlike some other school banks the accounts they open are not interest-bearing. Instead, the students receive incentives, such as t-shirts or snacks, for achieving savings goals. The top incentive, however, is to go on a field trip to a bank in Sioux Falls. To do so, students must reach $1,000 in savings.

What a great way to incentivize students into saving. What kid doesn’t want a day off from school, and by giving them a chance to tour a bank, it could introduce them to a profession that needs the next generation to join its ranks!

Read more about the school banks in Sioux Center here.

TS Bank College View In-School Bank Opens Sept. 15


September 12, 2017, Council Bluffs, Iowa – TS Bank, TS Institute and Council Bluffs Community Schools are excited to announce the fifth TS Bank in-school bank branch that will pair with the Council Bluffs School District’s current banking and finance curriculum initiative.  The TS Bank College View Little Lynx Branch at College View Elementary, 1225 College Road, Council Bluffs, Iowa, will open on Friday, September 15 at 9:15 a.m. with a ribbon cutting celebration.

 

TS Institute was created in 2009 to collaborate with school districts to promote financial literacy. The goal of the program is to provide students, K-12, with the knowledge to make sound financial decisions.

 

“By giving students at College View Elementary this opportunity, we are teaching students at an early age the importance of saving, which will hopefully help create lifelong saving habits. The TS Bank in-school banking program positively reinforces the benefits of saving and allows children to make decisions about their money,” states Ms. Megan McLaughlin, College View elementary school administrative manager.

 

Other TS Bank student-run, in-school bank branches include: Rue and Franklin Elementary, Wilson Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School.  Students are exposed to financial concepts and hands-on training. The TS Bank in-school branches to date are the first school district in Iowa and second in the Nation to offer this K-12 in-school banking program experience.

 

The student bank is designed to introduce the economic concept of saving money at an early age and reinforce this idea throughout the elementary, middle, and high school curriculum. In addition, the bank demonstrates that saving money should be part of a student’s financial plan for his or her future, as well as increases parental involvement in children’s lives through banking activity.

 

“We are very excited to launch another in-school bank in the Council Bluffs Community Schools, says Bob Mantell, TS Institute Director says.  “They have been a strong partner in the advancement of our financial literacy program, and we look forward to building upon our current programming to help more students succeed in their post-secondary lives.”  

 

To learn more about TS Institute or to help partner in financial literacy efforts, visit tsinstitute.org.

Bankers Trust’s Education Center provides financial education for all ages


While it is important to provide financial education to people at a young age, many adults want financial education resources as well. Bankers Trust in Des Moines has taken this to heart and created an online Education Center full of resources on a broad range of topics that are geared toward all age groups and are created by experts who work at Bankers Trust.

“We knew we had really great expertise in our team members,” said Emily Abbas, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at Bankers Trust. “Our research was showing that customers were looking for more information on how to make better financial choices and that consumers really trust resources that aren’t always trying to sell you something.”

There are six categories of topics in the Education Center. They include:

  • Personal Finances – Basic topics such as budgeting and saving.
  • Credit Management – Information on how to use credit responsibly and even includes a video with tips on how customers can improve their credit scores.
  • Homeownership – Details on the ins and outs of buying a home with information on topics such as submitting a mortgage application, home appraisals, private mortgage insurance and more.
  • Retirement and Investing – Tips on how to achieve retirement goals – when to start saving, how much to save and more.
  • Security – Advice on how customers can protect themselves from financial scams including elder abuse, tips on protecting mobile devices, avoiding phishing scams and more.
  • Small Business – Resources to help entrepreneurs get their businesses started. This section covers topics like succession planning, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, how a business banker can help and more.

Abbas said that the sections were created to reach all age groups. While some categories like small business, retirement and investing, may be more pertinent to older age groups, categories like personal finances and credit management are of interest to all ages. Through testing of the site, Bankers Trust is finding that younger generations, especially, are finding the content to be useful.

“We previewed the site before we launched with a group of first-year Drake University business students as part of an overview of our social media and our website, and this was the thing that they were most excited about,” Abbas said. “Where we maybe thought that it was going to connect with an older audience, we’re finding that the younger generations are connecting with that information just as much and feel that need to be able to make those important financial decisions.”

Another key aspect to the site is that it displays content in different ways, whether it’s articles, videos or infographics. Abbas said it was important to provide the content in different formats because people enjoy receiving information in different ways. She said the variety of content also gives readers a glimpse at who the authors are and a better understanding of the bank they represent.

“Everyone learns in different ways and everyone connects to information in different ways”, Abbas said. “Some people are more visual; some people like to read more in-depth, detailed information. … I think you also get more of a feel for the personality of not only who are the experts but also who are we as a bank when we present material in that way.”

While getting the message across to younger generations is a key factor in increasing understanding of financial concepts, even the adults experienced in saving and debt management can use some help. Bankers Trust is proving that a bank is the best place to go for assistance on these topics for all ages.

“We tried to put together a creative way to provide [financial education resources] that meets the needs of our communities and customers,” Abbas said. “We know it’s one of those things that we’ll use to help build momentum going forward into our next 100 years.”

New K-12 social studies standards address financial literacy


Members of the Iowa State Board of Education last week adopted new statewide social studies standards following an Iowa-led writing and review process that began more than a year ago. The new standards outline what students should know and be able to do in social studies from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The new standards also include a section on financial literacy that promotes the goal of financial capability. The standards are separated into five subsections that focus on:

  • Setting goals: This section focus on developing financial and career goals. Knowing what children want to achieve is key to helping them understand what they need to do to those goals.
  • Saving and spending: This section is key to any financial literacy program as it gives students a base knowledge of how to live within their means.
  • Credit and debt: The ability to analyze credit and debt will help students understand how to use credit responsibly so they can manage their debt effectively.
  • Investing: A section on investment will show students the value of long-term investments and it includes teaching how to apply investment tools to meet financial goals.
  • Measuring financial risk: This section is key to surviving financially in today’s world. It examines how to justify using different forms of insurance, and will provide students with strategies to protect themselves from identity theft and financial fraud.

The new standards show a commitment to comprehensive financial literacy, helping to shape students’ financial understanding so they can better plan for their future and meet their financial goals in today’s world. At the Iowa Bankers Association, we believe that education is the strongest tool we can use to help the next generation understand the importance of financial responsibility. We applaud these new standards.

IBA shout out to all who participated in Teach Children to Save


The American Bankers Association’s (ABA’s) Teach Children to Save Day celebrated its 20th year last week. The Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) is proud to see that 99 banks throughout Iowa participated this year. See below for all the banks that participated this year:

Algona
Farmers State Bank
Northwest Bank

Ames
First National Bank

Ankeny
Northwest Bank

Audubon
Landmands Bank

Belle Plaine
MidWestOne Bank

Burlington
MidWestOne Bank
Two Rivers Bank and Trust

Carlisle
Peoples Savings Bank

Cedar Falls
MidWestOne Bank

Centerville
Iowa Trust and Savings Bank

Central City
Ohnward Bank & Trust

Charles City
First Security Bank and Trust Company

Clarinda
PCSB Bank

Colesburg
Farmers Savings Bank

Conrad
MidWestOne Bank

Coralville
MidWestOne Bank

Council Bluffs
Treynor State Bank

Davenport
CBI Bank & Trust
MidWestOne Bank

Des Moines
Bank Iowa
MetaBank

Dubuque
American Trust & Savings Bank

Estherville
Northwest Bank

Fairfield
MidWestOne Bank

Fort Dodge
Northwest Bank

Fort Madison
MidWestOne Bank

Gowrie
Security Savings Bank

Grinnell
Grinnell State Bank
Lincoln Savings Bank

Guthrie Center
Guthrie County State Bank

Hampton
First Security Bank and Trust Company

Harlan
Shelby County State Bank

Humboldt
Northwest Bank

Indianola
Peoples Savings Bank
TruBank

Iowa City
MidWestOne Bank

Kalona
CBI Bank & Trust

Le Mars
American Bank NA
Northwest Bank

Lenox
PCSB Bank

Lisbon
Bridge Community Bank

Marion
Farmers State Bank

Melbourne
MidWestOne Bank

Milford/Arnolds Park
Northwest Bank

Milo
Peoples Savings Bank

Moravia
Iowa Trust and Savings Bank

Mount Vernon
Bridge Community Bank

Muscatine
CBI Bank & Trust
Community Bank and Trust Company

Muscatine & Surrounding Area
CBI Bank & Trust

Newton
Great Southern Bank

Nora Springs
First Security Bank and Trust Company

North Cedar
Bridge Community Bank

North English
MidWestOne Bank

North Liberty
MidWestOne Bank

Oakland
Arbor Bank

Omaha/La Vista
Northwest Bank

Orange City
Northwestern Bank

Oskaloosa
Great Southern Bank
MidWestOne Bank

Panora
Guthrie County State Bank

Parkersburg
MidWestOne Bank

Pella
Leighton State Bank
MidWestOne Bank

Pleasant Hill
Great Southern Bank

Pleasantville
Peoples Savings Bank

Remsen
American Bank NA

Rock Rapids
Frontier Bank

Sheldon
Northwestern Bank

Shenandoah
Century Bank

Sidney
Arbor Bank

Sigourney
MidWestOne Bank

Sioux Center
Northwest Bank

Sioux City
Great Southern Bank
Northwest Bank

Solon
Bridge Community Bank

Spencer
Northwest Bank

Spillville
Citizens Savings Bank

Spirit Lake
Northwest Bank

Statewide
U.S. Bank National Association
Wells Fargo Financial National Bank

Storm Lake
MetaBank
Security Trust & Savings Bank

Strawberry Point
Farmers Savings Bank

Sumner
First State Bank

Treynor
Treynor State Bank

Walcott
Walcott Trust and Savings Bank

Washington
CBI Bank & Trust

Waterloo
MidWestOne Bank

Waverly
First National Bank

Webster City
First State Bank

West Des Moines
State Savings Bank
Midwest Heritage Bank FSB
Northwest Bank

West Liberty
MidWestOne Bank

West Union
Bank 1st

Wilton
CBI Bank & Trust

Winterset
Farmers and Merchants State Bank

FDIC pilot shows benefits of financial education programs


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a report last week outlining the results of its Youth Savings Pilot. The pilot consisted of 21 participating banks carrying out different financial literacy programs to identify the most effective approaches to financial education. The report is essentially a blueprint for creating a successful financial education program.

The participating banks were successful in creating more than 4,500 youth savings accounts and identified several key benefits to providing financial education programs to local schools. A few of those benefits include the fact that financial education helps children build a foundation to improve their financial future while helping banks achieve their goals of supporting their communities. The report also indicates that financial literacy programs help individuals throughout the community build trust with their bank as they see the bank’s commitment to future generations.

Participating banks also offered advice on how to create successful programs. Following are some of the top comments from the report.

 

Quote: “The program needs to be relevant to kids’ lives. Kids like to see how the skills they are learning have real life value. One way to do that is role-playing.”

Who said it: Richard Martinez, Young Americans Bank, Denver, Colorado.

Why it’s important: For information to stick with a large number of children, they need to know how it applies to their lives. Showing real-world applications to financial education can ensure that children will retain that knowledge into adulthood.

 

Quote: “Kids [are] talking about spending. Students are having conversations about college debt. They are thinking about saving.”

Who said it: Kimberly Vaughn, Muscle Shoals High School, a partner of First Metro Bank, Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Why it’s important: This shows that the children who went through this program are motivated to start saving. Getting kids to understand early in their lives what it will cost to achieve their goals can spark a stronger interest in saving.

 

Quote: “By the end of the school year, the student is more outgoing and has gained confidence.”

Who said it: Kim Drudi, Athol Savings Bank, Athol, Massachusetts.

Why it’s important: Financial education provides much more than knowledge. When that knowledge helps children become more outgoing and confident, they become better equipped to function in the real world.

 

Quote: “Using students as the educators makes the material relatable.”

Who said it: LaKia Williams, Capital One Financial Corporation, McLean, Virginia.

Why it’s important: When financial education is interactive, it creates stronger engagement among the students, and they can see the application of that knowledge firsthand. By involving students as bank tellers at school branches, those students not only gain financial education, but the role may spark an interest in a future banking career.

 

Quote: “Students across the board in the early ages are understanding much better the difference in needs versus wants. The upper grades are beginning to understand how money and business works.”

Who said it: Patty Fleming, Treynor Elementary School, a partner of TS Bank, Treynor, Iowa.

Why it’s important: Starting early is important. Financial education is an ongoing process that should begin in elementary school and continue through high school. There are many financial lessons that children can learn about early that will help them advance into more complex subjects as they get older.

Make a commitment to saving during America Saves Week


When Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) members are asked what they like best about the banking industry, a common theme is that they enjoy being able to help customers achieve their financial goals. One way you can help your bank’s customers spend their money wisely and save appropriately is by promoting America Saves Week.

Feb. 27 marks the beginning of America Saves Week – a national effort to set a savings goal, make a savings plan and save automatically. While it is important for everyone to save throughout the year, America Saves Week offers an opportunity for banks to stress the value of saving to their customers.

Many people often complain that saving is hard. This may be true, but you can encourage your customers to make a commitment to saving now and to make it part of their daily routine, which will help take some of the stress out of the act of saving. By using the three steps in the mission of America Saves Week as an example, you can help your customers adopt a positive savings habit.

Step 1: Set a savings goal – Determine what you want to do with your savings. Perhaps, you want to save up to make a down payment on a new car, put money away for college or simply create a cushion to fall back on in case of emergencies. Knowing the amount of money you want to have in savings will help you with the next step.

Step 2: Make a savings plan – Now that you know how much you need to save, make a plan to reach that goal. For example, if you want to be able to make a $4,000 down payment on a new car, and you would like to purchase it in the next 12 months, you would need to save about $333 per month for the next 12 months. While that may seem like a lot, saving that amount will greatly reduce the monthly payments once you make the purchase.

Step 3: Save automatically – If you receive your paycheck through direct deposit, talk to your employer about depositing a set amount directly into your savings account. That way, you will start saving automatically, and you will be less likely to tap into those funds throughout the year.

 

Iowa Banks. Iowa Values.

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