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Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation now accepting 2017 grant requests

The Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation is now accepting 2017 grant applications from local 501(c)(3), 170(c)(1), and other qualified non-profit organizations in the communities served by Jewett City Savings Bank. The process is part of the Bank’s long-standing tradition of providing support to the local organizations that help strengthen the neighborhoods of Eastern Connecticut.

Guidelines and grant applications for 2017 are available online here and at all offices of Jewett City Savings Bank. Completed applications must be received no later than August 31, 2017. Funding will be awarded by December 31, 2017.

Grants, available up to a maximum of $5,000, may be awarded for existing program support, general support, special projects, and/or start-up endeavors covering a variety of issues impacting the community. Specific amounts will be determined by demonstrated needs and existing resources of each organization. The Foundation does not provide funding for individuals, sports, individual schools, or religious groups.

In 2016, the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation achieved another year of record growth in charitable giving, providing more than $75,000 in grants to help local non-profits, including emergency services organizations, food pantries, and health and educational programs. The Foundation has awarded more than $670,000 since it was established in 2003.

“We look forward each year to this opportunity to support a great number of non-profit organizations that strive to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Kevin Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank. “It’s one more way we can reach out to enhance the quality of life for our customers, friends, and neighbors. We are happy to help make that happen. As a true community bank, it’s a part of what we do.”

Changes to the Online Banking Password Screen

Beginning Monday, June 19th you will no longer see your personal image and passphrase before entering your password to log in to Online Banking.

The first time you log in to Online Banking on or after June 19th, you will be asked to reset your security questions.  You may be presented with your security questions more frequently while the system updates your security profile.

Password Screen Changes:

Login Screen - Before

Login Screen – Before

Login Screen After

Login Screen – After

Your online security is very important to us.
Improvements to Internet browser security have made the image/passphrase combination unnecessary.  As a user, you are now alerted if a website’s Security Certificate does not match the URL to which you are visiting.  These alerts advise you to close your browser window and not continue to the web site.  In addition, you will now be protected by multiple levels of authentication that will guard against unauthorized account access.

  • The first level of security requires the input of your correct User ID and Password.
  • The second level is the unique ID of the device used to log in to Online Banking.  If the computer, phone or tablet is not recognized, you will be required to answer one or more of your security questions before you will be allowed to continue.
  • The third level of authentication is based on geographic indicators.  If a login attempt is made from a new geographic location, you will be asked to answer security questions before you can continue.

If you fail in three attempts to answer your security questions correctly, you will be locked out of Online Banking.   Please contact our customer support staff at any branch office for assistance with resetting your Online Banking access.

Lock Out Caused By Account Aggregation Services
If you use a service or app to aggregate your account information from several financial institutions, the new authentication methods may prevent the service from updating your account information and lock you out of Online Banking.  If this should occur, please contact us and provide the name of the service and the last date/time that it was used.  We will work with our system developers to determine if your account aggregation service can be authenticated.  Account aggregation services that have been authenticated include Intuit/Mint, Xero, Yodlee, Acorn, CashEdge and Lifelock.

We apologize if these updates cause any inconvenience. If you have any questions, or need assistance accessing Online Banking, please contact us at 860-376-4444.

Rev. 06-19-2017
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Jewett City Savings Bank Holds 144th Annual Meeting

Elects Elena Hermonot of Sterling as Corporator

President and CEO Kevin Merchant presided over Jewett City Savings Bank’s 144th annual meeting held recently at the Jacques Cartier Club. Highlighting the Bank’s 2016 performance, Merchant reported $63.6 million in loans originated over the course of the year, a 13.9% increase over the previous year and the largest organic loan growth in the Bank’s history. As a result of the growth, loan to asset ratios grew from 65.2% to 71.6%, he said, and interest income was also bolstered due to a significant increase in commercial loans.

The Bank’s total assets at year-end increased by $9.8 million, or 3.8%, to total $269.6 million. Net income earned in 2016 totaled nearly $1.3 million, an increase of 22.4% over 2015. Another $1.2 million, or 2.9%, added to capital increased it to nearly $44 million, leaving the Bank with a healthy Tier 1 Leverage or capital ratio of 16%; more than three times what is required for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to consider a bank to be “well capitalized.”

Merchant also focused on the Bank’s commitment to the community during the past year, including $76,000 in grants awarded by the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation, an additional $50,000 in donations from the Bank in support of a variety of local initiatives, and 1,000 hours of time volunteered by the Bank’s employees throughout the year.

The Bank’s new branding concept, “Your Life Your Bank,” was the theme of the meeting. “Jewett City Savings Bank is here to provide the financial assistance that individuals and businesses need along that journey called life,” explained Merchant. “It’s that assistance and guidance that helps our customers to achieve their financial goals.”

Merchant also reported on the progress of the major renovation project underway at the Bank’s Main Office, which is expected to be completed in June 2017. He predicted that visitors to the Main Office will be pleased with the improved efficiencies and by the impressive combination of traditional and contemporary features within the building.

Elections

Newly elected Corporator Elena Hermonot

Newly elected Corporator Elena Hermonot

At the meeting, incumbent directors Louis Demicco and Diane Manning were re-elected. Demicco, president and owner of Jewett City Greenhouses, Inc., has been a director of the Bank since 1994 and has served as Chairman of the Board since 2005. Manning is the president and CEO of United Services, Inc. in Dayville and has been a director of the Bank since 2007.

Elena Hermonot was elected to serve as a corporator of the Bank. Hermonot is co-owner and manager of Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling, a family business known as the largest grower of pasture-raised turkeys in Connecticut. Her background includes positions as a Certified Nurse’s Aide at Day Kimball Hospital and local nursing homes and as co-owner and manager of a cow farm in Middlebury. She supports community service activities as a member of Ekonk Community Grange and has volunteered as Poultry Superintendent at the Brooklyn Fair and served on the Sterling Family Day committee.

“Elena is a motivated and highly regarded member of the local business community,” said Merchant. “We are pleased to have her join the group of ambassadors who represent the Bank out in the community.”

A moment of silence was observed in memory of two corporators who died in 2016. They were Robert Chamberland, who became a corporator in 1984 and went on to serve on the board of directors from 1995 until 2008, and Leonard Zuckerbraun, who was elected as a corporator in 1964.

8 Ways to Protect Your Data Online

American Bankers Association logoThe American Bankers Association is highlighting eight tips to help online users protect their data and guard against online threats.

“Cyber thieves are using social media profiles to gather personal information and use it to commit fraud,” said Doug Johnson, ABA’s senior vice president of payments and cyber security policy. “It’s extremely important that consumers limit the amount of information they share online and stay away from using easily retrieved information — such as birthdates, pet’s names or school mascots — as answers to security questions.”

ABA is offering the following tips to help consumers safeguard their information online:

  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
  • Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with.
  • Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.
  • Keep personal information personal. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
  • Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
  • Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
  • Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

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Jewett City Savings Bank pledges $25K to UCFS Campaign for Griswold Health Center

The Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation has pledged $25,000 in support of the new healthcare facility in Griswold planned by United Community and Family Services (UCFS). Announcement of the donation to the UCFS Capital Campaign for the Griswold Health Center was made today by Kevin Merchant, Jewett City Savings Bank president and CEO.

A federally qualified health center, UCFS provides medical, dental and behavioral health services to individuals and families throughout the region regardless of their ability to pay.

“The programs and services provided by UCFS improve the health and well-being of those in the communities that are also served by Jewett City Savings Bank,” said Merchant. “Their mission aligns with ours, and we are pleased to provide some financial assistance to support their efforts.”

Big check for $25,000 grant from the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation for the UCFS Griswold Health Center

Displaying the ceremonial check announcing a $25,000 grant from the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation for the UCFS Griswold Health Center are (from left): Pamela Kinder, Vice President, UCFS; Jennifer Granger, President and CEO, UCFS; Kevin Merchant, President and CEO, Jewett City Savings Bank; and Louis Demicco, Chairman, Jewett City Savings Bank.

We have updated our online bill payment system

Our updated bill payment system is now active, and we thank you for your patience during this update.

The first time you log in
When you select the Pay My Bills tab after the update, you will be required to accept the new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy separately.

  • Confirm Payee Information
    While all payees will be transferred to the new system, before paying any bills, we recommend that you confirm the accuracy of your Payee Information.
  • Re-enroll in eBills. If you have been receiving eBills, you will need to re-enroll through Pay My Bills to continue receiving eBills. In most cases, the re-enrollment process will only require that you select the payee and enter identifying information.

Pay My Bills – Cookies

The Pay My Bills section of Online Banking requires the use of cookies – small files stored within your browser – to function properly. We’ve provided links to the instructions for enabling cookies for the four most frequently used browsers below.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PAYMENT PROCESSING
Currently, funds are withdrawn from your account on the “send on” date you select when you schedule a payment. After April 27th, funds will not be withdrawn from your account until the “deliver by” date you select– meaning your current balance will not reflect payments that have been scheduled but not delivered to the payee.

To avoid fees due to insufficient funds, you must ensure funds are available in your checking account on the “deliver by” date when the payment is received by the payee.

What’s New
New features included in our bill payment system update are:

  • Alerts and enhanced fraud monitoring to protect you from unauthorized payments.
  • Payment monitoring
  • More flexibility in scheduling options
  • Enhanced eBills & new payment scheduling options
  • The ability to group payees into categories you create
  • The ability to schedule payment reminders with the option to receive email reminders
  • And more

Take a tour of the updated bill payment system.

For more information about our new Online Bill Payment system, you can use our information request form or give us a call at 860-376-4444.

Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation awards over $9K to libraries, arts & culture groups

The Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation has awarded a total of $9,200 to support libraries and arts and cultural organizations in local communities. An announcement of the grants was made today by Kevin Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank.

“The Foundation is proud to support efforts designed to preserve history, to help enhance the services that our libraries provide to their patrons, and to promote the performing arts,” said Merchant. “These are projects that help define a vibrant and caring community.”

The Foundation awarded $1,000 to the Killingly Historical and Genealogical Society for the purchase of special materials needed for document preservation, and the Preston Historical Society received $1,000 to help fund repairs to the Long Society Meeting House. The Finnish American Heritage Society will use its $500 Foundation grant to replace its archive room’s temperature control system.

Foundation funding will also help five local libraries enhance programs and services for the public. Aldrich Free Public Library received $1,000 to refurbish the children’s room, and Slater Library will use its $1,200 grant to purchase a laptop, cables and word processing programs. Sterling Public Library will direct its $1,000 grant to providing educational and social programs for patrons, the Killingly Public Library received a $1,000 grant to establish a portable computer learning lab, and the Fletcher Memorial Library will provide enrichment programs for its patrons with its $500 grant.

The Foundation also awarded $1,000 in annual support to Performing Arts of Northeast Connecticut and to the Slater Library in Jewett City.

Rebecca Jusseaume, Director of Slater Library

Jewett City Savings Bank joins America Saves Week

As part of America Saves Week 2017, scheduled for February 27 – March 4, 2017 Jewett City Savings Bank is spreading the saving message by promoting automatic savings to help people reach their savings goals.

America Saves Week is a great opportunity to help people in our community save by Setting a Goal, Making a Plan, and Saving Automatically,” said Kevin Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank.

During America Saves Week, Jewett City Savings Bank will offer new savings accounts and waive the minimum balance service fee for six months, giving consumers time to achieve the minimum balance by saving just $8 per week. Those opening a new savings account for a minor will receive a free piggy bank. New accounts can be opened at any Jewett City Savings Bank location.

America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the America Savings Education Council. The Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.

 

Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation awards over $26K to local emergency services providers

Kevin Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank, announced today that the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation has awarded 39 grants totaling $26,320 to providers of emergency services in communities served by the Bank.

“We are extremely proud to be able to help protect lives and property in the communities we serve,” said Merchant. “The Foundation grants are one way of thanking the emergency services staff members and volunteers who put their lives on the line for us every single day.”

A total of $11,120 in Foundation grants of varying amounts was designated for special projects, primarily for the purchase of new, replacement, or updated equipment and supplies by Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Inc., Canterbury Volunteer Fire Dept. & Ambulance, Atwood Hose Fire Company, Plainfield Fire Company #1, Danielson Fire Department, Central Village Fire Company #1, American Legion Ambulance Fund, Voluntown Volunteer Fire Company Inc. #1, A. A. Young Jr. Hose and Ladder Company #1, South Killingly Fire Department, East Brooklyn Fire Department, and Griswold Volunteer Fire Company.

Other projects supported with the grants include ongoing firefighting, medical, and water rescue training for the Oneco Fire Company, a plan to purchase and install residential house numbers by the Muddy Brook Fire Department, and a program to provide residential smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by the Mortlake Fire Company & Ambulance Service.

Annual Support
Additional annual support grants in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,100 were awarded to 24 emergency services providers including A. A. Young Jr. Hose and Ladder Company #1, American Legion Ambulance Fund, Attawaugan Fire Department, Atwood Hose Fire Company, Canterbury Volunteer Fire Dept. & Ambulance, Central Village Fire Company #1, Danielson Fire Department, Dayville Fire Company, East Brooklyn Fire Department, East Killingly Fire Department, Griswold Volunteer Fire Company, and Killingly/Brooklyn Ambulance Corps.

Similar grants were awarded to Lisbon Ambulance Service, Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department, Moosup Fire Department, Mortlake Fire Company & Ambulance Service, Oneco Fire Company, Plainfield Fire Company #1, Poquetanuck Volunteer Fire Department, Preston City Volunteer Fire Department, South Killingly Fire Department, Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Inc., Voluntown Volunteer Fire Company Inc. #1, and Williamsville Fire Engine Company.

Members of the A. A. Young Jr. Hose and Ladder Company #1

$5K in grants for youth initiatives from Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation

Jewett City Savings Bank President and CEO Kevin Merchant announced today that the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation has awarded a total of $5,000 in support of a variety of local youth education programs and services.

Plainfield Central Middle School received $1,000 from the Foundation to support student participation in the Exchange City financial education program, and a $1,500 grant to Griswold PRIDE will help Griswold Middle School students create a social norms media campaign. A $1,000 Foundation award to Safe Futures, Inc. will provide a healthy relationships program at Griswold High School, and Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. will use its $1,000 grant to purchase yoga mats, blocks, and other items for a children’s yoga program. The Foundation also awarded $500 to the Brooklyn Park and Recreation Department for the installation of surveillance cameras.

“We’re always aware of the importance of programs and activities that focus on today’s youth and are pleased to provide financial support where we can help make a difference,” said Merchant.

Participants of the Northeast Opportunities for Wellness children’s yoga program.