Monthly Archives: June 2016
If you’re a Grandpoint client, you probably already know that we really enjoy providing advice and resources to help our clients’ businesses succeed. On May 19, a handful of Grandpoint professionals had the chance to spend nearly the entire day doing just that…only our “clients” were a lot younger than usual.
We worked with some of the 120 high school juniors and seniors of Lennox Academy who were attending Junior Achievement of Southern California’s JA Finance Park as they assumed the role of “adult for the day.” Through the Finance Park program, students are challenged to learn about and navigate the world of personal finance with some help from adult mentor volunteers. Each mentor works with a small group of students after receiving training from Junior Achievement staff immediately before the Finance Park event.
The simulation exercise teaches the students about financial concepts like banking, budgets, careers, credit, debt, interest rates, income, investments, taxes and more. Our Grandpoint Bank team members were each paired up with about four students, and we helped them allocate the budgets they were given. The students’ challenge was to secure the goods and services they needed to support their fictional profiles. The students’ assigned personas include details about their fictional career, family situation, salary, credit score, debt, and financial obligations. With assistance from their mentors, they then use and manage their finances accordingly.
In preparation for the simulation event, the students had taken part in a 14-lesson classroom curriculum, taught by their teacher. They had preparation courses focused on four categories: income; savings, investing and risk management; debit and credit; and budget.
The simulation takes place in a mini city, complete with branded stores and kiosks, donated by real-world companies.
Stretching their budgets was the biggest challenge for the kids we worked with, and it was a very eye-opening experience when they realized that it could be tough to live within their assigned means. They had to scale back their choice of housing, cars and incidentals. Realizing the costs and variety of utilities they needed to cover was another shock for them.
“We saw that this exercise really helps the students realize what their parents go through,” said Darlene Esquerra, one of our senior vice presidents and institutional banking manager. “You see the lights go off in their heads when they understand what it means to have to buy things for everyone in the family.”
Under the rules of Finance Park, the kids have to address each category of finance. “During the savings component, the kids learned to save some from each pay check, but they had to balance that with essentials like purchasing insurance for themselves and their family,” Darlene added.
Everyone at Grandpoint and its division banks have enjoyed the Junior Achievement experience so much, that we now participate with Junior Achievement in each of the markets where we operate banks, including Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Vancouver, Washington.
“We feel like this is a great investment in our communities and in the next generation,” said Darlene. “We’re also talking to Junior Achievement about expanding our partnership in the coming years.”
To learn more about how you can get involved with Junior Achievement, contact their Southern California office or their local office in your market.
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Grandpoint Bank has introduced a new way for its business banking clients to protect themselves from financial losses due to funds transfer fraud and cyber deception through a first-of-its-kind cyber insurance group policy.
We’ve created Grandpoint Insurance Services, Inc., a non-bank insurance agency affiliate, to develop the Client Cyber Crime Insurance product. The policy, offered to customers of Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, offers cyber crime loss coverage that is specifically geared to monetary losses. It was created as an affordable and easy alternative to individually underwritten, higher-priced commercial crime insurance policies.
The majority of businesses don’t realize that they have significantly more exposure for losses due to fraud than individual account holders, who are afforded certain regulatory protections. Businesses are often tricked into approving fraudulent transfers, notwithstanding internal controls to identify and prevent this kind of risk. According to the FBI, since 2013, over 17,000 businesses have lost an aggregate of more than $2.3 billion to one type of cyber crime alone, known as the business email scam.
Even as monetary losses due to cyber crime have skyrocketed in recent years, many traditional commercial crime policies specifically exclude losses arising from cyber deception.
“We are excited to make this new coverage available to our business clients,” said Petra Griffith, Director of Product Development for Grandpoint Bank. “The policy focuses on the kinds of coverage that directly address the key fraud risks that businesses face – losses to their bank accounts through cyber crime. Cyber crime is a major concern for businesses, especially since they are typically liable if cyber criminals steal funds from their business accounts. They often don’t have the appropriate insurance in place and are finding it more difficult to protect themselves in this ever evolving, increasingly sophisticated cyber crime environment.”
The Client Cyber Crime Insurance policy is available exclusively to business clients of Grandpoint and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, through Grandpoint Insurance Services, in partnership with LBW Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. The policy is underwritten by Hiscox Inc., on behalf of Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, which is rated A by A.M. Best. Insurance products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not federal government agency insured, not bank guaranteed.
The Client Cyber Crime Insurance group policy coverage helps reimburse funds in business deposit accounts lost due to funds transfer fraud and cyber deception and is offered at premiums that represent substantial savings from individual policies currently available on the market. Any business that has a deposit account at Grandpoint Bank or its divisions is automatically eligible to enroll in the policy and select from a range of coverages with premiums that start at $30 per month.
“Educating and alerting our clients, and the broader business community, about established and emerging cyber crime trends is a commitment we’re passionate about,” said Griffith. “We’ve been working for over a year to create a more powerful solution to help clients protect their financial assets against attacks by cyber criminals.”
For more information on the Client Cyber Crime Insurance, visit www.grandpointinsurance.com (California Insurance License #0K82434).
Insurance Products are:
Insurance Products are offered through Grandpoint Insurance Services, Inc., a non-bank insurance agency affiliate of Grandpoint Bank, and facilitated through LBW Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., an unaffiliated insurance agency.