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    5 WAYS YOUR BANKER CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR FINANCES
     
    We’re all online now more than ever, whether it’s shopping for clothes, ordering food or doing our banking. Apps are getting more advanced all the time, which is so convenient, especially during the pandemic. At Valley Bank, we believe in useful and easy-to-use technology, but we also value the relationships between a customer and a banker as uniquely important.
     
    WITH THIS IN MIND, HERE ARE FIVE WAYS YOUR BANKER CAN HELP YOUR BANKER CAN:
     
    1. LOOK AT YOUR ENTIRE FINANCIAL PICTURE.
    People usually come to us with one need, but we approach our job in a holistic way, asking them questions to get a better view of their full financial picture. It’s like going to a doctor’s office and saying “My back hurts” — the doctor is going to ask you a thousand questions to diagnose what’s causing your pain. A banker is the same. We want to understand what you’re trying to accomplish or solve and make a recommendation that will work for you.
     
    2. PROTECT YOU FROM FRAUD.
    If a client withdraws $50 a week for spending cash, and they’ve suddenly withdrawn $3,000, that’s a banker’s cue to know something’s going on. We have safeguards in place to protect you, but scammers are creative, so you have to be vigilant. We educate people on how fraudsters are trying to get their money, but the easiest way to prevent fraud or to stop it quickly is to have a relationship with your banker.
     
    3. HELP YOU SOLVE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.
    Last year in Montgomery, it felt like we were having a major storm every month. Many of our clients had $5,000-$10,000 in repair bills for roof damage. In a lot of those cases, a home equity line of credit made sense. If your banker is looking around the community and seeing other clients in similar financial situations, they can recommend specific solutions for your problems. And if you’re having trouble making a payment on a loan, your banker wants to work with you to understand the problem and help you find a solution.
     
    4. UNDERSTAND THE FINANCIAL
    There are a lot of messages and updates coming out related to your finances — on everything from the Paycheck Protection Program to unemployment insurance — and it can be incredibly confusing. A banker with a finger on the pulse of the latest financial news will keep you abreast of the latest developments, and if we don’t know the answer, we can get it for you quickly.
     
    5. GIVE ADVICE FOR MEETING YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS.
    If you check in with your banker regularly about your financial goals, whether it’s related to buying a house, starting a business or preparing for retirement, we can recommend tools and tips to help you save. You might be able to put half your stimulus check or a percentage of your merit raise into a savings account or an IRA, for example. There may be specific financial products to recommend, but often, it’s more about sharing strategies that we have seen work well for other clients in similar situations.
     
    MEET THE EXPERT
    Brian Blanks is Vice President, Market Manager at Valley Bank in Wetumpka. He has nearly two decades of experience in retail banking.
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