SAN FRANCISCO, April 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West today announced its ongoing support of April's National Financial Literacy month and Teach Children to Save Day, today, April 24. During April and May, Bank of the West is helping raise awareness among young people about the importance of learning healthy financial habits early in life through local activities led by Bank employees.
Over these two months, approximately 500 Bank of the West employees will reach more than 5,000 young people in elementary, middle school and high school classrooms to teach basic financial concepts that young people might not be learning at home, such as how to:
- prioritize spending choices they make on a day-to-day basis;
- recognize the difference between needs versus wants; and
- understand that personal saving supports future goals.
"Bank of the West views financial literacy outreach in our schools as an important part of giving back to the communities where we have a presence," said Bank of the West Chairman and CEO Michael Shepherd. "National Financial Literacy Month and Teach Children to Save Day are important initiatives all year-long. By supporting early financial education we're helping young people and their families build a foundation for economic self-sufficiency, which in turn contributes to a stronger economy."
According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the past year, Americans have been saving only five percent of their disposable personal income, below the eight to nine percent personal savings rate in the mid-1980s and substantially less than the 11 to 12 percent Americans saved in the mid-1960s. Personal debt in the United States, on the other hand, is on the rise. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owed $11.83 trillion as of December 31, 2014.
"Today's youth are coming of age during a time when they have multiple consumer choices and technologies to navigate. It's important for students to learn financial basics early on, so they can understand how choices made in youth can impact their economic well-being and financial independence as adults," said Jenny Flores, Bank of the West's Community Affairs manager.
Teach Children to Save is an American Bankers Association (ABA) initiative that encourages banker volunteers to help young people develop a savings habit early in life. Since the program began in 1997, more than 177,000 bankers have taught savings skills to six million students. As a member of the organization, Bank of the West has participated in Teach Children to Save since 2009. Last year, Bank of the West reached more than 12,000 young people through its combined financial education programs.
About Bank of the West
Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com) is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $71.7 billion in assets. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees. Bank of the West can also be found on Twitter @BankoftheWest.
SOURCE Bank of the West