Event: Utah economic update Oct 30, 2013, 8:00 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

What are the current housing and employment conditions in Utah? What is the outlook for the Utah economy in 2014?

On November 14, Bank of American Fork and Jim Wood, director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Utah, will team up to provide an update on Utah’s economy. Wood will provide insight into the current state of the Utah economy with a special focus on the housing market and employment issues. In addition, he will lay out expectations for the coming year to help you make decisions for your business. A light lunch will be provided. RSVP to heidi.carmack@bankaf.com or at 801-642-3139.

Nov 14, 11:30 – 1:00

Bank of American Fork, Riverton Branch

2691 West 12600 South

Riverton, UT 84065

 

James A. Wood, Director, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Utah
James Wood joined the Bureau in 1975.  He graduated from the University of Utah in finance in 1967 and did graduate work in economics at the University of Utah from 1970 to 1974.  From 1975 to 2002 he was a senior research analyst at the Bureau and since 2002 has served as director.  His areas of research specialization are: (1) housing (2) construction (3) real estate and (4) economic development.  He currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, State of Utah Revenue Assumptions Committee, the Salt Lake Downtown Alliance Development Committee, past president of the Wasatch Front Economic Forum and a member of the board of Salt Lake Neighborhood Housing Services.  He has published more than 100 articles and studies on topics related to the Utah economy.

Bonus history and cookie spotlight: Layton’s one-year anniversary Oct 29, 2013, 8:20 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

We’re celebrating one hundred years of serving Utah communities with free cookie Fridays. Each month one of our 13 branches will be spotlighted—for that month, the spotlighted branch will have free cookies in their lobby. This month we are doubling up with Draper and Layton spotlights! November 19 is our one-year anniversary of the Layton branch. You can read a little bit about the history of Bank of American Fork below, with a history of the spotlighted branch. For a deeper history and to view photos visit here and select “downloads”.

Bank of American Fork was established in 1913 as The People’s State Bank of American Fork. The first two decades after opening brought success for the bank and its reputation for being safe and sound was solidified. Challenges came in 1932, when the People’s State Bank of American Fork closed its doors to prevent a run on deposits. While a third of the nation’s banks did the same and never reopened, the People’s State Bank was open for business nine months later after tremendous sacrifice on the part of its management. The 1940s and ‘50s were better years for banking, and the People’s State Bank of American Fork thrived. In the 1960s the name was shortened to Bank of American Fork and proved itself a technological leader when it made a large investment in upgrading to advanced computerized systems. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Bank of American Fork began to receive national recognition for being safe and strong. It was during this time that the bank began strategic expansion across Utah, finding communities where Bank of American Fork fit and filled needs. Today, we are proud to be a part of 13 communities, and Utah’s community bank leader.

Layton Branch November 19, 2012 Bank of American Fork opened its 13th branch and first in Davis County. The bank was staffed with locals and a Davis County Advisory Board was established to ensure strong ties to Layton and surrounding communities. After a Kaysville-based community bank closed, Bank of American Fork saw a need in Davis County for a community bank. A loan officer began generating loans in the Layton area, and the bank purchased a portion of the previous Barnes Bank’s loans. Bank of American Fork hired seasoned Davis County bankers and established an advisory board made up of prominent members of the commercial market in Davis County to keep tied to the needs of the community in Layton.

Don’t forget to stop by the Layton branch on Fridays in November for cookies!

November branch spotlight and cookies: Draper Oct 28, 2013, 8:40 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

We’re celebrating one hundred years of serving Utah communities with free cookie Fridays. Each month one of our 13 branches will be spotlighted—for that month, the spotlighted branch will have free cookies in their lobby. You can read a little bit about the history of Bank of American Fork below, with a history of the spotlighted branch. For a deeper history and to view photos visit here and select “downloads”.

Bank of American Fork was established in 1913 as The People’s State Bank of American Fork. The first two decades after opening brought success for the bank and its reputation for being safe and sound was solidified. Challenges came in 1932, when the People’s State Bank of American Fork closed its doors to prevent a run on deposits. While a third of the nation’s banks did the same and never reopened, the People’s State Bank was open for business nine months later after tremendous sacrifice on the part of its management. The 1940s and ‘50s were better years for banking, and the People’s State Bank of American Fork thrived. In the 1960s the name was shortened to Bank of American Fork and proved itself a technological leader when it made a large investment in upgrading to advanced computerized systems. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Bank of American Fork began to receive national recognition for being safe and strong. It was during this time that the bank began strategic expansion across Utah, finding communities where Bank of American Fork fit and filled needs. Today, we are proud to be a part of 13 communities, and Utah’s community bank leader.

Draper Branch July 2, 2001 The eighth branch opened in a strip mall as Bank of American Fork’s first branch in Salt Lake County. Utah was the third fastest-growing state in the nation; between the 2000 and 2010 census, population grew an astounding 23 percent. Utah County was the fastest-growing county in the state and Bank President Dale Gunther began to notice particular population and retail growth in the Draper area, just past the northern border of Utah County. While searching for the right permanent spot, the branch opened in a strip mall. The staff moved into a new branch building in June 2005, after they finally found a better spot, closed the deal on a new spot and designed and built the new building.

Don’t forget to stop by the Draper branch on Fridays this month and grab a cookie!

Bank of American Fork helps keep seniors safe Oct 24, 2013, 8:40 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Charter presentation kicks off Senior Crimestoppers at Rocky Mountain Care

Last week Bank of American Fork and Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation teamed up to present the Senior Crimestoppers program at Rocky Mountain Care Center in Murray. Senior Crimestoppers is a coordinated set of components that work together to create a zero-tolerance-to-crime platform in senior housing facilities. Components include personal lockboxes for the residents, cash rewards up to $1,000 paid anonymously for information about wrongdoing of any kind and education and training for staff members and residents. Senior Crimestoppers has reduced all aspects of crime in participating facilities by 92 percent. Bank of American Fork is the first Utah bank to fund this program.

“This marks the formal announcement that Rocky Mountain Care is the newest member of Senior Crimestoppers,” said George Clinard, vice president of Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. “Our mission is to provide a safe and secure living condition. The reason this program works is because it’s made up of a group of components that all work together.”

“We’re excited to be a part of this. We are committed to communities,” said Rick Anderson, senior vice president, Bank of American Fork. “My father recently lost some money because he thought he was helping someone in need. He’s a former college professor and we wouldn’t have expected this, but crime can happen to anyone. We’re committed to helping protect against this and other types of crimes against seniors.”

After presenting the Senior Crimestoppers charter plaque at Rocky Mountain Care in Murray. Kim Bangerter, administrator, Rocky Mountain Care; Tracey Larson, senior vice president, Bank of American Fork and financial representative, Governor’s Commission on Aging; Jon Allen, chief compliance officer, Bank of American Fork; Rick Anderson, senior vice president, Bank of American Fork; Carol Van Horst, field representative, Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation; George Clinard, vice president, Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation; Bill Swadley, vice president and CRA officer, Bank of American Fork; with residents Roberta Read and Robyn Fewkes.

One of the fun parts of the Senior Crimestoppers program is an annual $250 check for the care facility to use as they see a need—some throw a party for residents and other facilities use it to help a specific individual. Rocky Mountain Care had already designated what they would use their first “Wish Comes True” check for.

“We’re using this to purchase an iPad for a resident that can’t speak for himself,” said Kim Bangerter, administrator for Rocky Mountain Care. “This will allow him to communicate with staff and other residents.”

Some residents in the sponsored facilities have already received their personal lockboxes, and one resident told the group that she loves her lockbox. She said that knowing that only she knows where her key is allows her to feel secure that her important items—like Christmas gift money, her will and photos of her family—are safe.

Also in attendance was Tracey Larson, vice president and special projects manager at Bank of American Fork, who was recently appointed as the financial representative for the Governor’s Commission on Aging. Larson and Jilenne Gunther, from the Utah Department of Aging and Adult Services, will continue the conversation about how to protect seniors from financial abuse on a live internet radio show on November 20 at 6:00 Mountain Time, at www.latalkradio.com.

First bank merger in Utah since 2008 recession Oct 21, 2013, 9:07 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp merger closes

Lewiston State Bank President and CEO Anthony Hall (left) and People’s Utah Bancorp President and CEO Richard Beard (right) after the merger was approved.

People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp have merged their holding companies—the first bank merger in Utah since before the 2008 recession. The merger closed today, October 18, following approval by regulatory agencies, shareholders of Lewiston and both boards of directors.

“The People’s Utah Bancorp and Lewiston Bancorp merger is the first unassisted merger in Utah since Far West Bank was acquired by American West Bancorp in 2007,” said Tom Bay, supervisor of banks, Utah Department of Financial Institutions. “Smaller banks are seeing their burden increase. They feel like they survived the downturn just to be hit in the gut with what they feel is an increasing regulatory environment. Mergers can be a way of using economies of scale to help with the increased fixed costs of doing business. Utah is not like California or other states with many banks and a lot of merger activity going on, so it’s harder to see a trend here, but I would not be surprised to see more mergers in Utah going forward.”

“The purpose of this merger is to ensure that both banks are able to continue the highly personal service that each has provided for a hundred years or more in an economic and regulatory environment that makes it hard for community banks to compete,” said Richard Beard, president and CEO of People’s Utah Bancorp. “We wanted to figure out a way to help community banks come together and preserve what is good about the system. This merger combines years of community banking commitment and experience under one roof.”

In June, the companies jointly announced an agreement to merge their holding companies and operate their bank subsidiaries, Bank of American Fork and Lewiston State Bank, under People’s Utah Bancorp. The merger was dependent on various regulatory approvals and a shareholder vote in favor of the transaction. All of those were obtained by October 15. The closing occurred today.

As of September 30, 2013, People’s Utah Bancorp had approximately 320 employees, $1 billion in assets, loans of $643 million, deposits of $900 million and equity of $120 million. Lewiston had approximately 90 employees, $257 million in assets, loans of $180 million, deposits of $223 million and equity of $28 million.  The combined holding company now operates under the name People’s Utah Bancorp and has approximately $1.2 billion in assets.  Bank of American Fork, with 14 locations in Utah, and Lewiston State Bank, with four locations in Utah and Idaho, will continue to operate under their respective names. Customers of both banks will continue to receive the personal, friendly service from bank staff they have come to know and trust.

“Between our two banks there are more than 200 years of combined banking experience,” Beard said.  “The community values and traditions that both banks share makes this partnership work for the organizations, employees, customers and communities we serve. Blending the talented management and staff of both banks helps put People’s Utah Bancorp in a clear position as Utah’s community bank leader in service, asset size and deposit size. This combination will help grow and foster the local community banking system that is vital to the economy, small businesses and Utah communities.”

“I am pleased with the working relationships between the two banks and the enhanced ability both will have to serve our respective customers,” said Anthony J. Hall, president and CEO of Lewiston State Bank and chairman of Utah Bankers Association. “We will maintain our name and local presence going forward. We look forward to the benefits from developing a statewide community banking group. The merger offers many benefits for our shareholders, our employees, and most importantly, our customers.”

People’s Utah was advised in the transaction by D.A. Davidson & Co., as financial advisor. Lewiston was advised by Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., as financial advisor.

Tips for protecting mobile devices during cyber security awareness month Oct 07, 2013, 10:28 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Courtesy of American Bankers Association

We’ve told you about our mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, but since October is cyber security awareness month, we want to make sure you know what you can do to help protect yourself when you use your mobile device. At Bank of American Fork, we’ve put precautions in place to help protect you when you’re using mobile banking, but just like you wouldn’t leave your checkbook laying around, you can help with mobile security.

The number of attacks on mobile devices is growing, in part, as a result of the increased popularity of mobile banking. According to a 2013 report by the Federal Reserve, 87 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone and 52 percent have smart phones. Of those mobile phone users, 28 percent have performed banking transaction in the past 12 months.

The rise in the popularity of mobile devices has certainly made them a target for cyber-criminals. The types of attacks we’re seeing have generally been used on PCs but are now making their way to other devices. Banks work hard to protect customer information and customers play an important role. Any device used to connect to the Internet is at risk and we urge users to keep safety measures in place.

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we recommend that consumers take extra precaution to protect the data on their mobile device by doing the following:

• Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.

• Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.

• Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.

• Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”

• Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.

• Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.

• Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.

• Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.

• Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

• Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

Remember that banking online can be safe and secure if you follow some of these precautions. Bank of American Fork is committed to your security. To read more about the things that the bank does to help keep you safe in mobile banking, visit us here.

What other tips have you heard for keeping data on your mobile device safe?

October branch spotlight and cookies: Murray Sep 30, 2013, 9:20 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

We’re celebrating one hundred years of serving Utah communities with free cookie Fridays. Each month one of our 13 branches will be spotlighted—for that month, the spotlighted branch will have free cookies in their lobby. You can read a little bit about the history of Bank of American Fork below, with a history of the spotlighted branch. For a deeper history and to view photos visit here and select “downloads”.

Bank of American Fork was established in 1913 as The People’s State Bank of American Fork. The first two decades after opening brought success for the bank and its reputation for being safe and sound was solidified. Challenges came in 1932, when the People’s State Bank of American Fork closed its doors to prevent a run on deposits. While a third of the nation’s banks did the same and never reopened, the People’s State Bank was open for business nine months later after tremendous sacrifice on the part of its management. The 1940s and ‘50s were better years for banking, and the People’s State Bank of American Fork thrived. In the 1960s the name was shortened to Bank of American Fork and proved itself a technological leader when it made a large investment in upgrading to advanced computerized systems. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Bank of American Fork began to receive national recognition for being safe and strong. It was during this time that the bank began strategic expansion across Utah, finding communities where Bank of American Fork fit and filled needs. Today, we are proud to be a part of 13 communities, and Utah’s community bank leader.

Murray Branch January 15, 2003 The bank’s 10th branch opened in Murray. Management had been debating the idea for several years, and moved on a location once they had employees who knew the area and its residents well. When the bank found the right people, including branch manager Richard Gray, and veteran operations manager Kathie Rockwell, the bank’s new branch opened in leased office space near Fashion Place Mall. At the time, it was the bank’s northern-most branch. During this time of expansion, a cross-functional group of employees created a mission statement for the bank to ensure that new employees and managers would provide the communities they served with the customer service people had grown to love about Bank of American Fork. This summer, the Murray branch moved to a new location on State Street, into a space gutted and remodeled to improve customer service. Have you visited?

Don’t forget to stop by the Murray branch on Fridays this month and grab a cookie!

Tips to safeguard against financial fraud Sep 23, 2013, 2:15 pm By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Autumn is a great time of year. Leaves are changing, the air is crisp and pumpkin bread can be smelled baking in many kitchens. People are gearing up for the winter holidays—including thieves. Thieves are always looking for opportunities to steal from you, whether it is your physical belongings or personal information. With the latter, you may not even know when you have been a victim until it’s too late, so follow these tips to safeguard your private information and avoid financial fraud.

Protect your bank account information.

• Be careful when using your debit / credit cards that observers do not “shoulder surf” and see your pin and card number.

• Cards are easily counterfeited. Watch out for people lurking around ATMs and for suspicious equipment or devices at ATMs. Thieves may be trying to observe you or electronically capture your transaction (pin, card number, etc.).

• Don’t leave your ATM receipts behind – they can be useful to thieves observing your ATM activity.

• Monitor your bank accounts for fraudulent activity and report any lost or stolen checks or cards immediately.

  Be careful with your own private information.

• Your personal U.S. mailbox is a big security risk. Be sure to pick up your mail promptly. Unsolicited credit card applications, private medical records and financial records can be stolen from your mailbox and used against you.

• Don’t throw out anything with private information on it; it needs to be shredded.

• Don’t mail checks from your outside mailbox. They can be easily stolen and altered or counterfeited. Instead, mail your bills from a more secure location, like from work or directly from the post office.

• Monitor your own credit reports to watch for any fraudulent activity using your name. The U.S. Congress requires the three major credit bureaus to give you one free report on yourself once per year. You can request a report from one credit bureau now and then in four months from a second bureau. Then in eight months, request a report from the third credit bureau. That way you get a fresh report every four months.

Have you heard any other great tips for combating fraud?

Saving For College: Graduating With the Least Amount of Debt Sep 19, 2013, 8:40 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Guest post by Katie Bryan, America Saves

As college students are beginning to see what costs really add up to and high school seniors start applying for their top universities, many are beginning to think about how to pay for the years of school ahead. We’ve heard the stats that the average debt students have upon graduation has skyrocketed to $35,200, according to a recent Fidelity survey, and that the costs of attending college increase 6 percent each year. Utah has the lowest student loan default rate in the country, and you too can be financially successful by implementing some of the tried-and-true ways to make sure you don’t get in over your head. College is still a great investment for most students, especially with some planning ahead of time to help keep debt to a minimum. It’s still true that those with a bachelor’s degree will earn $1 million more over their lifetime than those who only complete high school.

The challenge is to graduate with as little debt as possible. Here are three ways to help keep student debt to a minimum:

1. Create a College Savings Plan

Just like savings for retirement, it’s good to save early and often. There are many ways out there to help you save, from a 529 account to Savings Bonds. Tip to find extra money to save: If you can save an extra $300 a year ($25 a month at 5% interest, compounded monthly for 18 years) you will have an extra $8,766.43 to put towards tuition bills.

Haven’t created a college savings plan yet? Pledge to Save with America Saves where you can sign up for text message tips and reminders to help you reach your goal of saving for college. Bank of American Fork’s online money manager is another great way to budget and keep your spending in check with alerts and messages, and quick access to current savings account information.

2. Shop Around For Schools and Free Money

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a tool to compare the costs of different colleges. Their tool will let you compare financial aid offers so you can see how all those numbers impact your payments down the road.

Apply for as many scholarships as you can. $500 here and $1,000 there can go a long way to helping pay for college. Many students also stop looking for scholarships once they enter college, but keep applying each year. Need some inspiration? Check out the article “How I won $100,000+ in college scholarships” by Ramit Sethi.

3. Find Ways to Reduce Spending (or Earn Money) While in College

For example:

• Live at Home – Living on campus can cost anywhere from $7,500 to $9,000 per year. Consider living at home during college (if you can) and you can save nearly $40,000. You can still get a full college experience by joining clubs and being active on campus.

• Get a Part-Time Job – Look for a job on campus or a paid internship to supplement your income and pay for expenses like food, books, and incidentals while in college. The more you can pay upfront the less your monthly loan payments will be when you graduate. Need more ways to save? We’ve got a list of 54 ways to save here.

If you’re wondering what the best options for saving are, come into a Bank of American Fork branch, call at 800-815-BANK or live chat with someone at www.bankaf.com.

America Saves, managed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), is a non-profit researchbased social marketing campaign that seeks to motivate, support, and encourage low- to moderate-income households to save money and build wealth. Learn more at americasaves.org

 

Bank of American Fork launches new iPad® app Sep 16, 2013, 10:24 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

­We launched a new mobile banking application for iPad, making it easier for customers to bank on the go. Bank of American Fork mobile banking is now available through apps on iPad, iPhone® and Android™, or smartphone and tablet users can visit mobile.bankaf.com on their mobile device.

“We’re excited to be able to extend our mobile banking footprint to accommodate our iPad users,” said Josh Everton, eSolutions manager. “Our online customer base is more mobile than ever and they really like using the mobile handheld device apps, especially to be able to deposit checks. Our tablet users have anxiously awaited the launch or our native iPad offering and we are glad to provide another option to make their banking experience as easy as possible.”

Some of the expanded features unique to the app for the iPad include:

• Online consumer check and savings account applications

• Live customer service chat

• 30 days of transaction history

• 18 months of archived eStatements

• Advanced location and contact tools

Mobile banking with Bank of American Fork is safe and allows customers to bank on-the-go. All of the mobile apps allow customers to do the following:

• Deposit checks†

• Check account balances

• View account history

• Pay bills‡

• Transfer funds

• Find Bank of American Fork branch contact information and locations

To ensure safety, we recommend that customers only download our native mobile apps from the following sources: download our iPhone app or iPad app from the iTunes Store® or App StoreSM and the Android app from the Android Market™. Customers can also visit the mobile site from their devices at mobile.bankaf.com without installing a mobile app.

For questions about mobile banking call 800-815-BANK or use the “Live Chat” feature on the bank’s website at www.bankaf.com.

Although mobile banking is provided by Bank of American Fork free of charge, you may be charged access rates depending on your mobile carrier. Web access is needed to use mobile banking. Check with your service provider for details on specific fees and charges.

†  Enrollment in Mobile ExpressDeposit is available in mobile banking and includes meeting eligibility requirements. For consumer accounts there is a $0.50 service fee per deposit on the first 20 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 service fee per deposit on each deposit over 20. For business accounts there is a $0.50 fee per deposit on the first 60 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 fee per deposit on each deposit over 60. For full details, please visit the Mobile ExpressDeposit product page.

‡ Online customers must first enroll in PowerPay™ and establish payees in online banking prior to using this function in mobile banking.

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark and iTunes store is a registered service mark of Apple Inc. Android and Android Market are trademarks of Google Inc. PowerPay is a trademark of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

100 Year On Blog
This blog includes articles, information, tips and advice on all things money by the financial experts at Bank of American Fork. But this blog is not one-sided; we want to hear what you think. Share your ideas, experiences and comments to get the dialogue going.

800-815-BANK (2265)

 
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