Banks have been an integral part of the United States economy and lifestyle. There are huge mega banks and small hometown banks alike. This is no different in the little New England state of Vermont. Vermont has many banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.
The Vermont Banker’s Association was formed in 1909. This alliance helps oversee the state’s banks and their overall well-being. The Association holds meetings to address concerns within the banking community; they also try to get the community involved with issues that involve the banking economy. Public notices on how to avoid scams and stay financial secure, is often distributed throughout the state. This group of individuals sends out notices for events such as “National Getting Kids to Save Day”. This particular day lands on April 29 of every year.
Like all of the banking industry and most of the rest of the country, the unemployment rate by banking professionals in the state has risen with the Great Recession. However, the state is hopeful that with the beginning of the bounce back of the economy, the unemployment rates will decrease.
Vermont has a Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration. The Department of Banking, run by the state government, helps to reduce fraud and raise consumer trust with the state’s banks. On the government website, consumers can do such things as file a complaint with a particular bank. The reasons for filing could be for predatory lending or unusually high fees that are charged. The government will look into that particular bank to make sure nothing illegal is happening.
The Department of Banking also has a link for mortgage assistance for eligible individuals. The mortgage assistance program is a compiled list of organizations that help with individuals who need help and are in risk of foreclosure. A list of financial counseling agencies is also available from the state of Vermont.
Vermont is both concerned and proactive in educating their residents about financial issues. Scams have become a far reaching problem in recent years; the state is vocal on how to prevent them. Their advice includes: never give out bank or credit card information, never cash a check from unverified sources and wire money back to someone, and being wary of loan companies that want to help struggling homeowners with “too good to be true” terms. Likewise, terms that are unnaturally high should be avoided as well.
Vermont’s banking industry looks to be doing pretty well, given the current economy. With consumer advocates, such as the Vermont Banker’s Association, and a little government prevention, both mega banks and hometown banks are doing better than average. The unemployment rate should drop soon according to the most optimistic spectators.