SOURCE: Self-Help


March 07, 2014 19:53 ET

Martin Eakes, CEO of Self-Help, Applauds New Bank of America Checking Product

Safe Balance Offers Responsible Checking Alternative for Consumers With Low Balances

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - March 07, 2014) - On Thursday, Self-Help CEO Martin Eakes applauded the new pilot checking product offered by Bank of America, called Safe Balance.

"Bank of America's new checkless checking account is exactly what civil and consumer rights advocates have been requesting for years from the nation's largest banks," said Eakes. "The product is designed to prevent bounced check and overdraft fees completely, while still allowing access to the account by debit card, ATMs, mobile banking and online bill payments. Customers have repeatedly told us that they want to be able to spend only the funds that they have in their accounts. For students and customers of modest means, this new account is perhaps the best product available in the market today."

"We commend Bank of America for its continued leadership in helping American consumers avoid unnecessary overdrafts," Eakes continued. "Over the past couple of years, we have consulted with the bank on the design and creation of Safe Balance Banking, and believe it takes the next step in helping consumers become smarter about spending only the funds that they actually have on hand, thus gaining control over one's day-to-day finances."

"This account is a full-featured banking account, which makes it easier to connect to savings accounts. To my knowledge, this is the only checkless checking account from one of the largest banks that also allows online bill payments without any additional fee. For a 'checkless' account, this is a big benefit."

Martin Eakes is a member of Bank of America's National Community Advisory Council, which is comprised of public- and private-sector leaders in community development.

According to Bank of America, Safe Balance is a pilot product, currently available in Rhode Island, Oregon, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. For specific information on the checking account program, contact Anne Pace at 631-425-9319 or

About Self-Help

Founded in 1980, Self-Help ( ) is a nonprofit credit union, community development lender, and real estate developer. Self-Help's combined affiliates have provided over $6 billion in financing to nearly 75,000 families, individuals and businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions. It strengthens communities by financing hundreds of homebuyers each year, as well as nonprofits, child care centers, community health facilities, public charter schools, and residential and commercial real estate projects. Self-Help's credit union branches in North Carolina, California, and Chicago offer a full range of financial products and services including personal, vehicle, mortgage and business loans.

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