Bank of America matches consumers’ savings from the Keep The Change™ Program to build homes for hurricane victims
Company Kicks Off Holiday Season With Giving Campaign To Benefit Habitat For Humanity
CHARLOTTE, NC, November 21, 2005 – Bank of America today announced it will match 5 percent of all consumer debit card savings resulting from the Bank of America Keep the Change™ program before December 23 and donate the funds to Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat will use the funds to continue its home building efforts in the Gulf States.
When consumers sign up for the Keep the Change savings program, the amount of every purchase they make with a Bank of America debit card is automatically rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and the difference is transferred from their checking account into their savings account at the end of the day. Just in time for the holidays, when consumers enroll in Keep the Change, Bank of America will help them save and support hurricane victims while doing their holiday shopping.
In addition to its charitable contribution to Habitat for Humanity, Bank of America will continue to match 100 percent of the Keep the Change transfers for the first three months a consumer participates in the program. After that, the bank will match five percent of the transfers a year, every year. The maximum match is $250 per year.
The Bank of America 5 percent contribution will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s current Hurricane relief effort – Operation Home Delivery. Operation Home Delivery, which is sponsored in part by NBC’s “Today,” is bringing houses – via barge – down the Mississippi River to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast region and the families in most urgent need of housing. The barge, towed by the Virginia Ingram, began its journey in St. Paul, Minn. on October 24, making stops in St. Louis, Mo., Memphis, Tenn. and today in Baton Rouge, La. where local Habitat for Humanity volunteers are building homes and loading them onto the barge, en route to its final destination of New Orleans, La. on Thanksgiving Day. Bank of America’s matched Keep the Change “round-ups” will help fund the building and delivery of these homes to the region.
“Operation Home Delivery brings the holiday spirit to those in need and we’re honored to be a part of it,” says Liam McGee, President, Global Consumer and Small Business Banking at Bank of America. “With the Keep the Change program, consumers will not only be able to save while spending this holiday season, they can feel good knowing they are helping to support this worthwhile cause.”
With an unprecedented $1.5 billion charitable giving goal over ten years, Bank of America is one of the world’s most generous corporate donors, a long-standing supporter of Habitat for Humanity and a large contributor to efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. In 2002, the bank committed to work with Habitat for Humanity to build 220 houses across the United States and internationally by the end of 2006, a commitment of approximately $10 million and the efforts of more than 20,000 Team Bank of America volunteers. Since Hurricane Katrina, Bank of America and its associates have contributed more than $5 million to provide relief to victims and rebuild the Gulf States. The bank also has announced a $100 million Community Development Banking goal to rebuild affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods in Gulf Coast areas devastated by this season’s hurricanes.
“For most people, this time of year conjures up images of being home for the holidays,” says Jonathan Reckford, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity. “But in many areas of the Gulf States, that’s just not a reality. Hurricane Katrina has left thousands of people without a home this holiday and that’s what our Operation Home Delivery mission is all about – helping to rebuild these families’ homes and lives. We are grateful to sponsors like Bank of America who are willing to help make that happen.”
Keep the Change™
Bank of America launched the Keep the Change program earlier this fall based on customer feedback that they wanted an easy way to save. “It’s like an electronic change jar,” said McGee. “People can now turn those everyday purchases for groceries, gas and meals into a simple way to save.”
Keep the Change comes at a time when the personal savings rate is low. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that personal savings was negative $61.8 billion in August, compared to negative $100.9 billion in July. Personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income was negative 0.7 percent in August, compared with negative 1.1 percent in July.
Matching funds paid to cardholders are paid annually after the anniversary of enrollment up to a maximum of $250 on accounts that remain open and enrolled. Eligible savings accounts include Regular Savings, which pays a variable annual percentage yield that was 0.50% as of November 17, 2005. Member FDIC. Patent Pending.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 38 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 14 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 97 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.
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