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DISB Joins Bank on DC and CAAB for the 6th Annual America Saves Week to Encourage and Assist Personal Saving

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Automatic savings help people reach their saving goals.

Washington, DC — As part of America Saves Week 2012, which runs from February 19 to 26, the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) will be spreading the savings message, and urging its networks to participate in America Saves Week.

“DISB encourages District residents to embrace this year’s theme, “Set Goals, Make a Plan, Save Automatically,” and take life-changing and actionable steps toward improving their financial situations,” said DISB Commissioner William P. White.

America Saves Week, in conjunction with Military Saves Week, is managed by the Consumer Federation of America, the American Savings Education Council and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. This week presents an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own savings status.

To help residents consider their savings behavior and to encourage more individuals and families to save, DISB is partnering with the Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) and Bank on DC to offer the District’s unbanked and under-banked communities the chance to take advantage of the free-to-low cost checking and savings accounts at mainstream financial institutions, which are available through the Bank on DC initiative. Bank on DC is a collaborative effort between the District government, financial institutions and nonprofits, whose mission is to provide mainstream access to financial services, products and financial education to unbanked and under-banked households in the DC metro area. During the week, DISB will visit two DC Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign (DC EITC) sites: the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, (basement level A9 and A10) from 4:30 – 6 pm on Tuesday, February 21, and at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, NW (Ely Center Room 202D and Room 201) from 3 – 6 pm on Thursday, February 23.  

CAAB manages these DC EITC sites. At these locations DISB will encourage low- to moderate-income tax filers to use direct deposit for their refunds and to discourage them from using refund anticipation loans (RALs), which are high cost, high risk, short-term loans secured by and repaid directly from the proceeds of a consumer’s tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). RALs are bank loans in partnership with a tax preparer and must be repaid even if the IRS denies or delays the refunds, if the refunds are smaller than expected or frozen.

DISB will present residents with an alternative to RALs through Bank on DC. Instead of expensive and predatory RALs, unbanked residents may want to consider opening bank accounts as an alternative. Also, DISB will use the week to encourage residents to visit the following financial education workshops to assist them with enabling their financial independence.

These workshops include the following CAAB-sponsored classes:

Class Location Date and Time
Mini-Fair – Mini Financial Education Class Wheeler Terrace Apartments, 1217 Valley Avenue, SE Tuesday, Feb. 21, 5 – 8 pm
Can I Afford My Life? Deanwood Library, 1350 9th Street, NE (between Nash Street & Quarles Street) Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Money Management 101 Salvation Army Turning Point Center of Washington, DC, 1434 Harvard Street, NW Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 – 8:15 pm
Money Management 101 (continued) Byte Back, 815 Monroe Street, NE Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 am – noon
Money Management 101 (continued) Capital Area Asset Builders, 1444 Eye Street, NW, Suite 201 Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 am – noon

After the conclusion of America Saves Week, DISB will continue to work in partnership with Bank on DC and CAAB during April’s Financial Literacy Month to promote financial education workshops and classes, and to empower and enable District residents to make better financial choices.

Any additional questions about America Saves Week, please visit DISB’s website at www.disb.dc.gov.

The Government of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) regulates financial-service businesses in the District of Columbia. DISB has two overall missions: to provide fair, efficient and fast regulatory supervision of financial service activities for the protection of the people of the District of Columbia; and to create conditions that will attract and retain national and international insurance, securities, banking and other financial services businesses to the District. For more information, visit DISB on the Web at www.disb.dc.gov.

Bank on DC
Bank on DC is a collaborative effort between District government, financial institutions, and non-profits whose mission is to provide mainstream access to financial services, products, and financial education to unbanked and under-banked households in the DC Metro Area. For more information about Bank on DC, visit www.bankondc.org/ .

Capital Area Asset Builders
Capital Area Asset Builders puts people on the road to financial independence.  Our programs help low and moderate income individuals and families improve their money management skills, increase their savings, and build wealth by investing wisely. Our goal is to create a community that provides everyone with incentives and opportunities to save for the future. Visit www.caab.org for more information or (202) 419-1440.