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Is Your Bank Participating in the COVID Help for Home Initiative?

ABA and several other industry and community organizations are offering access to free marketing materials you can use to get the word out to your mortgage customers that you're here for them during COVID-19.

View the materials.

 

New Infographic: How to Spot, Stop and Report Government Imposter Scams

The American Bankers Association Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission released a new infographic highlighting the problem of government imposter scams. In 2020, 498,000 imposter scams were reported to the FTC by consumers and nearly one in five reported losing money, with reported losses totaling nearly $1.2 billion. Almost one-third of the scams involved someone posing as a government representative.

In imposter scams, scammers will typically call, email, text or direct message consumers on social media, often claiming that back taxes are owed or that jury duty was missed and threatening victims with fines or arrest. Some scammers claim that Social Security or Medicare benefits are being withheld due to COVID-19, in an attempt to trick victims into clicking on a link or handing over personal information. The infographic provides tips for consumers on how to spot these potential scams and how to report them.

Download the infographic.

 

ABA Releases 2021 Communications Guide on Banking Issues

ABA released its 2021 communications guide on banking issues that includes talking points and supporting data on a range of industry topics. The guide is free for ABA members and can help bankers prepare for media interviews, write press releases and social media content and be used for staff education.

This year's guide for the first time features information on COVID-19, the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program and redlining.

Other topics covered include diversity, equity and inclusion in banking, fintech and emerging technologies as well as cybersecurity.

Download the guide

 

ABA Launches Major Ad Campaign to Raise Awareness for PPP

With the Paycheck Protection Program set to close at the end of March, ABA launched a multi-state radio advertising campaign encouraging eligible small businesses still struggling financially from the pandemic to reach out to banks in their area for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The ads—including Spanish-language versions—will air on 60 stations in 17 markets covering 14 states and the District of Columbia. The ads target small businesses in underrepresented communities that have not applied for a PPP loan previously. The campaign will be co-branded with state bankers associations in the 14 states.

The ads urge eligible small business owners to contact their bank or find a local bank participating in PPP using SBA’s interactive lender map. The campaign also features a digital advertising component that will air on music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, as well as on podcasts.

“Banks of all sizes have provided this vital financial lifeline to millions of small businesses so far, but we know there are still some eligible businesses that could still benefit from a PPP loan," ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said. “This ad campaign seeks to connect those businesses, particularly in communities hardest hit by the pandemic, with banks in their area eager to provide a helping hand."

Hear the ads.

 

Report: Credit Card Purchase Volume Rebounds in Third Quarter of 2020

Credit card monthly purchase volumes rebounded strongly in the third quarter of 2020, jumping more than 20% from the prior quarter despite challenges from the pandemic-induced recession, according to ABA’s latest Credit Card Market Monitor.

The share of account holders who paid their balance in full each month rose 1.5 percentage points to a record high of 33.7%, while the share of account holders carrying a monthly balance declined 1.7 percentage points to 40.7%, a record low. “Though many people are still unemployed, a combination of restrained spending and continued government support has left many consumers well-positioned to manage credit card payments,” said ABA Senior Economist Rob Strand.

The total number of accounts declined year-over-year for the second consecutive quarter, mostly driven by an 8.2% decline in subprime accounts. The total number of super prime accounts rose 1%. The total number of new accounts (those opened in the previous 24 months) fell 8.4% in the third quarter, the largest quarterly drop in a decade.

Read the Monitor.