ABA Banking Journal - March 2011 - (Page 38)

ABA Resources Q Want to make a difference? An interview with Laura Fisher, who runs the ABA Education Foundation and ABA’s Housing Partners Foundation ABABJ: Financial education is nice for bankers to do. But why is it smart for them to do it as well? Laura Fisher: It allows them to build relationships with customers they don’t always see come into the branch—future customers, non-customers, parents or grandparents of children. The banks that the unbanked go to are often the ones they met through financial education. But financial education is also the right thing to do. There’s more and more research pointing to the positive side effects from saving. A child with a savings account in his or her name is seven times more likely to go to college than a child without one. It helps them form a lasting college-bound identity. ABABJ: What do you hear from bankers who have participated in the Foundation’s National Teach Children to Save Day? LF: They love the interaction with the kids and they also like being recognized in the community. One banker told of being in the grocery store and heard a child tell his mother, “That’s the banker who came into school and talked about saving.” A lot of bank employees don’t have that opportunity for recognition. ABABJ: What impact do you think it has on the kids? LF: We’re encouraging bankers to give the kids an incentive to make the behavioral change right away. The Foundation is running a Race to Save this year, with a goal of opening 15,000 savings accounts. Teaching kids to save is a great opportunity to teach them self-control. And self-control tends to be more important than self-confidence in terms of a person’s long-term success. ABABJ: Time is always an obstacle to doing more, as is concern about being able to do a good job. What do you offer to make the process easier? LF: It’s very easy to sign up for one of our webinars. Hundreds of bankers have already been through the training. We have one for bankers who have never participated before 38  |  ABA BANKING JOURNAL  |  March 2011 and one for veterans. The webinars tell bankers everything they need to know. Our Teach Children to Save resource kit is another great tool that makes teaching easy and rewarding. It is available online at aba.com/ABAEF. ABABJ: What about other programs the Foundation offers? LF: Our newest program is a video contest called Lights, Camera, Save! We started it because research shows that kids want to learn through technology, rewards, and creativity. One hundred seventy banks in 45 states participated. The videos that kids did are creative and surprisingly serious about saving. They really got the message across. We’re kicking off the program’s second contest in the fall. Get Smart About Credit is another fall program. The name says it all: teach young people good habits before they get their first loan. ABABJ: What changes have you seen in the program or the bankers? LF: People don’t want to just write a check. They want an authentic, hands-on community experience. The Education Foundation gives them that and more. Laura can be reached at lfisher@aba.com or by calling 1-800-BANKERS (1-800-226-5377) http://www.aba.com/ABAEF

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - March 2011

ABA Banking Journal - March 2011
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
ABA Community Banking: Got the Blues? Try a Little Reinvention
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Put Your Capital to Work
Still Waiting in the Wings
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
ABA Resources
Surveys & Trends
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - March 2011

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