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ALERT: Counterfeit Official Checks in Circulation

Jewett City Savings Bank has discovered that counterfeit official checks bearing the bank’s name and routing number are currently circulating across the United States.  These checks have been mailed to individuals and appear to be associated with a “mystery shopper,” “work at home,” “sweepstakes advance,” or similar scam.

These checks are not authentic Jewett City Savings Bank official checks.  Therefore, these checks have NO value and will NOT be honored by Jewett City Savings Bank.  Please be aware that if you deposit or cash a counterfeit check at any bank, you will be responsible for repaying the funds and any penalties even though the funds from the counterfeit check have been made available to you.  This is due to the fact that some checks take more than a week to “clear;” however, counterfeit checks never “clear.”  They will eventually be dishonored (“bounce”).

You can learn more about mystery shopper and other scams, and how to report a scam, by visiting the Federal Trade Commission website.

If you have any questions about the authenticity of a Jewett City Savings Bank check, please contact us at (860) 376-4444.

Local artist donates Dow Homestead painting to Jewett City Savings Bank

Artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque, a Sterling resident, recently donated an original painting of the Dow Homestead to Jewett City Savings Bank for display at its new Plainfield office.

Reynolds-Bourque’s artwork captures the essence of the Sterling family home of the late American journalist Charles Dow, founder of the Wall Street Journal, co-founder of Dow Jones & Company, and creator of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

“Marnie thought the Bank would be the perfect place to display her painting and pay tribute to the local resident who had such an impact on financial markets,“ said Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO. “We truly appreciate this beautiful and inspiring gift.”

Merchant also thanked Sterling First Selectman Russell Gray for working with Reynolds-Bourque to arrange for the framing and presentation of the painting to the Bank.

 

Local Landmark - The Dow Homestead, captured on canvas by Sterling artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque, will be on permanent display at Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office.

Local Landmark – The Dow Homestead, captured on canvas by Sterling artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque, will be on permanent display at Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office.

Grand Opening Gift — Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank (left), accepts a painting of the Dow Homestead in Sterling gifted to the Bank by local artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque (right) with the assistance of Sterling First Selectman Russell Gray (center), who arranged for the artwork framing and presentation.

Grand Opening Gift — Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank (left), accepts a painting of the Dow Homestead in Sterling gifted to the Bank by local artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque (right) with the assistance of Sterling First Selectman Russell Gray (center), who arranged for the artwork framing and presentation.

Special Notice regarding data breach at Home Depot® stores

If you made credit or debit card purchases in person at a Home Depot store from April to September, you may have been affected by a recently reported data breach. Information that may have been compromised includes customer name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, cardholder verification value, and service code.

We have identified potentially compromised Jewett City Savings Bank debit cards.  These cards have been canceled and transactions attempted using these cards will be declined beginning on September 24, 2014.  If your debit card transaction has been declined, please call any branch office during normal business hours to check the status of your card.  New cards to replace the canceled cards have been produced for affected customers.  We had planned to cancel the affected cards on September 30th allowing time for customers to receive and activate their new cards.  We found it necessary to take more immediate action when fraudulent transactions began to be reported on September 24th.  To prevent more customers from being impacted by fraudulent transactions, we made the difficult decision to cancel the affected cards.  We sincerely regret the inconvenience that our customers are experiencing due to the cancellation of their compromised cards; however, it was the only way to shut down the fraud and protect the funds in our customers accounts.

An alert on the Home Depot website describes the payment breach and provides additional information, including what steps you should take to detect or avoid fraudulent use of your credit or debit card information. We urge you to review the information you will find there.

Immediate steps you can take include reviewing recent activity on your account and reporting anything suspicious to your financial institution or card issuer. We also advise regularly reviewing your account transactions as well as monitoring account activity on an ongoing basis.

If you have any questions about your account or Jewett City Savings Bank debit card, please call us at 860-376-4444.

Jewett City Savings Bank unveils new Plainfield office

The new Plainfield office of Jewett City Savings Bank opened recently with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by President and CEO Kevin C. Merchant.

“This new office is a reinforcement of Jewett City Savings Bank’s commitment to local residents and businesses, and to the towns of Plainfield and Sterling and the surrounding communities,” said Merchant.

“It symbolizes a ‘Thank You’ to the local municipalities and our current customers for their support over the years, and also serves as a ‘Welcome’ to those who will become customers in the future,” Merchant said.

Thanks to …

There was a long list of people to thank for coordinating “a lot of moving pieces to make this vacant piece of property evolve from a vision, to a blueprint, and finally to the reality is has become,” Merchant stated. They included general contractor Ric Rovero and his Engineered Construction team and local tradesmen who served as subcontractors. Also, the Bank’s Building Committee: Board Chairman Lou Demicco, former Board Vice Chairman Jack Burke, Phil Tetreault, and senior vice president/CFO Jim McDonald.

Also introduced were directors Gary Peloquin, vice chairman; Gail Rooke-Norman; Diane Manning; and David Panteleakos. Directors Eric Moore and Jim Thevenet were unable to attend the event.

Merchant also commended the Branch Design Team, which included Diana Rose, chief operations officer and corporate secretary; former Plainfield office manager Sandra Boucher, now retail banking officer; Dianne Chiavarini, Plainfield office branch manager; and Melissa Waite, regional branch manager.

Plainfield officials, including First Selectman Paul Sweet, were thanked for their cooperation during the construction process. “Everyone from the town of Plainfield that we worked with along the way was gracious and always willing to help,” said Merchant.

In addition, he recognized and thanked the Northeastern CT Chamber of Commerce, its president, Warren Scholl, and executive director, Betti Kujai, for the organization’s continued support in promoting its member businesses. Cathy Tendrich, president of the Plainfield Business Association was acknowledged for her group’s support, as well.

Special recognition and gratitude were extended to Director Emeritus Don Collins for his many years of commitment to the Bank’s Savings Bank Mall property, from the time it was purchased in 1984 until the property was sold last year. A plaque in his honor will be displayed in the new branch.

Guided tour

Plainfield Branch Manager Dianne Chiavarini and Assistant Manager Sue Duggan welcomed guests to tour the new building following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Among the highlights are a community room, sit-down teller and customer service stations, a coffee nook and kids’ corner waiting area, and iPad tablets for customer account access. A painting of the Charles Dow Homestead was gifted to the Bank by Sterling artist Marnie Reynolds-Bourque and Sterling First Selectman Russell Gray. The Dow Homestead painting, as well as other works by local artists, will be on display at the Bank’s Plainfield office.

Outside attractions at the new building include a drive-up ATM and three drive-up lanes with two-way video conferencing for more-personal customer service.

The Bank’s immediate future plans include a Community Wall and environmental graphic designs that will incorporate more of Jewett City Savings Bank’s sense of community, explained Merchant.

Ruth Bergeron, president of the Plainfield Historical Society, was presented with a $500 donation from the Bank for her help in researching and providing local village photos that will be the focal point of the new design elements.

A Plainfield History

The new office is actually Jewett City Savings Bank’s third in Plainfield over the last 42 years. The first office opened in 1972 and, in 1986, moved to the Savings Bank Mall. The new location is just 500 feet south of the former Mall location.

“It’s pretty apparent that we like it here”, Merchant offered. “It’s all about Pride in Plainfield!”

Welcoming Committee! Among those greeting guests at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office were (from left): Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO, and directors Dianne Manning; Louis Demicco, chairman; Gary Peloquin; Phillip Tetreault; Gail Rooke-Norman; and David Panteleakos.

Welcoming Committee! Among those greeting guests at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office were (from left): Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO, and directors Dianne Manning; Louis Demicco, chairman; Gary Peloquin; Phillip Tetreault; Gail Rooke-Norman; and David Panteleakos.

Ready to cut the ribbon at Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office are (from left): Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO; Sue Duggan, assistant branch manager; Dianne Chiavarini, branch manager; and Louis Demicco, board chairman.

Ready to cut the ribbon at Jewett City Savings Bank’s new Plainfield office are (from left): Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO; Sue Duggan, assistant branch manager; Dianne Chiavarini, branch manager; and Louis Demicco, board chairman.

Jewett City Savings Bank supports Griswold High School drama program

At a special assembly for Griswold High School students involved in the school’s drama program, Paul Smith, superintendent of schools, and Kevin Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank, announced that the Bank has made a $5,750 donation to ensure the continuation of the drama program at Griswold High School while this year’s school budget awaits a final vote of the town’s taxpayers.

Although the drama program itself is self-sustained through performance ticket sales and other show-related income, the $5,750 stipend provided for the program directors and other administrative staff is traditionally a budget item. Jewett City Savings Bank offered to cover that expense with a one-time only donation, according to Merchant.

“Nearly half of the student population participates in the program’s fall and spring shows, whether they are performers or musicians, working on wardrobes or sets, or personally involved in some other role,” said Merchant. “That experience has become significant in the growth and education of many of our adolescents and we feel an obligation to our community to help ensure the program continues uninterrupted for another year.”

The Bank has been the primary sponsor and community partner for the school’s spring musical productions since 2011. “This production is truly a community event each and every year and our support is just another way of giving back to the community, which is something we take very seriously at Jewett City Savings Bank,” said Merchant.

Pictured left to right: Kevin Merchant, president and CEO, Jewett City Savings Bank; Paul Smith, Superintendent, Griswold Public Schools; Ray Churchill, Spring Musical Director, Griswold High School; Tim Moore, Fall Drama Production Director, Griswold High School, and Dr. Mark Frizzell, Principal, Griswold High School

Pictured left to right: Kevin Merchant, president and CEO, Jewett City Savings Bank; Paul Smith, Superintendent, Griswold Public Schools; Ray Churchill, Spring Musical Director, Griswold High School; Tim Moore, Fall Drama Production Director, Griswold High School, and Dr. Mark Frizzell, Principal, Griswold High School

Employment Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in employment with Jewett City Savings Bank.  We are not seeking new employees at this time; however, we encourage you to submit your resume for future reference.

Send your resume and your Application for Employment to:
Human Resources Department
Jewett City Savings Bank
PO Box 335
Jewett City, CT 06351

You may submit your resume and application via email to jobs@jcsbank.com but please be advised that email is not secure.

Closing (and opening) our office in Plainfield

Our Plainfield office will be closed on Saturday, July 19th as we move into our stunning new office, just a few short steps across the parking lot, at 48 Norwich Road.

Our new office will open on Monday, July 21st and we encourage all our customers to “take a walk” next door to check it out.  We’re sure you’re going to be pleased with what you find, from:

• New technologies for improved efficiency and faster transactions
• Self-serve coin counting machine for increased convenience
• Modern layout for a more comfortable customer experience
• Customer lounge with free coffee
• And more!

Stay tuned, too, for news about exciting Grand Opening specials coming your way soon!

Summer Travel Safety Tips

Summer_Dad_Son_NEWSHave summer travel plans? Here are some tips to protect your finances while you’re away:

  • Take us with you! With Online and Mobile Banking, your account information is always at your fingertips. You can set up account alerts to notify you of low balances and confirm deposits or withdrawals. And, you can even pay your bills while you’re away, with free Online Bill Pay.
  • Share your plans with us. Let us know beforehand that you’ll be traveling and we’ll keep a close fraud watch on your accounts for any sign of questionable or unusual activity. Let your credit card company know about your plans, too, especially if you’ll be traveling overseas.
  • Protect what you’re leaving behind. Hold your mail and newspaper delivery. Nothing says “No one home” louder than newspapers piled on the doorstep and an overstuffed mailbox.
  • Wait until you return to post the details of your vacation on Facebook or other social media. Don’t reveal your definitive plans in advance.
  • Weed your wallet. Narrow your collection down to just one credit card and your ATM/debit card. Don’t carry anything with your Social Security number on it. Make copies of everything you will be carrying and leave the information with a family member.
  • During your travels, use a credit card for larger purchases, and your debit card to get cash at ATMs.
  • Always look for an ATM owned by an established financial institution rather than a free-standing machine in the middle of nowhere.
  • Don’t leave valuables (or your laptop or tablet) in an empty hotel room or rental car. Use the hotel safe while you’re out sightseeing and having fun.
  • Make sure your mobile devices are password-protected and protected by updated security software.
  • Stay vigilant even when your vacation’s over. Identity thieves don’t always act in the moment. They could strike later, when you least expect it. Monitor your account frequently for any signs of suspicious activity.

Your vacation should be a time to remember — for all the right reasons. Enjoy, and stay safe!

Rent or Buy? 5 Questions Consumers Should Ask First.

house2As a part of American Housing Month this June, the American Bankers Association reminded consumers that their local banker can help navigate challenges associated with choosing a home, including deciding what is affordable and whether to rent or buy.

“Bankers understand the dynamics of their local housing markets in a way that can benefit their customers,” said Frank Keating, ABA president and CEO. “They can help customers understand available housing options in the context of their individual financial situations and long-term financial goals.”

Before pursuing a rental or homeownership opportunity, ABA recommended consumers consider the following questions:

How much money do you have saved up?
Start with an evaluation of your financial health. Figure out how much money you have for a down payment or deposit on a rental. Down payments are typically 5 to 20 percent of the price of the home. Security deposits on rentals are usually about one month of rent and more if you have a pet. But be sure to keep enough in savings for an emergency fund. It’s a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses to cover unexpected costs.

How much debt do you have?
Consider all of your current and expected financial obligations like your car payment and insurance, credit card debt and student loans. Make sure you will be able to make all the payments in addition to the cost of your new home. Aim to keep total rent or mortgage payments plus utilities to less than 25 to 30 percent of your gross monthly income. Recent regulatory changes limit debt to income (DTI) ratio on most mortgage loans to 43 percent.

What is your credit score?
A high credit score indicates strong creditworthiness. Both renters and homebuyers can expect to have their credit history examined. A low credit score can keep you from qualifying for the rental you want or a low interest rate on your mortgage loan. If your credit score is low, you may want to delay moving and take steps to raise your score. For tips on improving your credit score, visit aba.com/consumers.

Have you factored in all the costs?
Create a hypothetical budget for your new home. Find the average cost of utilities in your area, factor in gas, electricity, water and cable. Find out if you will have to pay for parking or trash pickup. Consider the cost of yard maintenance and other basic maintenance costs like replacing the air filter every three months. If you are planning to buy a home, factor in real estate taxes, mortgage insurance and possibly a home owner association fee. Renters should consider the cost of rental insurance.

How long will you stay?
Generally, the longer you plan to live someplace, the more it makes sense to buy. Over time, you can build equity in your home. On the other hand, renters have greater flexibility to move and fewer maintenance costs. Carefully consider your current life and work situation and think about how long you want to stay in your new home.

For more consumer tips, visit aba.com/consumers.

Make it a movie night!

movienightThe weather is warm and the summer blockbusters are hitting at a theater near you! Before you go, be sure to enter our prize drawing to win a night at the movies.

Each week in June we’ll be giving away $40 gift cards to use at Digiplex Destinations at Lisbon Landing. A drawing for each branch will be held every Friday with the last drawing on June 27th.

Download an entry form and return it to any of our branch locations.

Winners will be notified by phone. Limit one pack per household. Employees of Jewett City Savings Bank and members of their immediate family or household are not eligible. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this drawing. The winner does not have to be a Jewett City Savings Bank customer. Visit www.jcsbank.com/drawingrules for complete rules and additional important information.