Bank Support

There is no question that banking plays an essential role in our financial well-being. So, how can you make the most of it?  Just ask Alex, our expert banker, to get the advice you need for your banking success.  Learn more about how to increase your credit score?  Get interesting facts about real-life bank robberies. Find out about what “bait money” is and what it can do.

Question:  What can I do to increase my credit score?  –  Amy from Portland, Maine.

Answer: Having a high credit score is extremely important when it comes to lending.  Not only does it increase your chances of getting approved for a loan, line of credit or credit card, but it also helps in getting a better interest rate.  Here are three ways to improve your credit score.  First, pull your credit report from the three major credit bureaus.  Knowledge is power and finding out what is on your credit report will help you better understand your current credit position.  Equifax, Experian and TransUnion allow consumers to pull their credit report for free once every year.  Second, pay your bills on time.  At the very least pay the minimum amount due.   Missing a payment by 30 days or longer will adversely affect your credit score and can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years.  Finally, lower your credit utilization.  That is the outstanding balance divided by the credit limit.   As a rule, no line of credit or credit card should have a credit utilization ratio of more than 30 percent.

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Question: How common are bank robberies?  –  Hank from Naperville, Illinois.

Answer:  According to the FBI’s Bank Crime Statistic Report, in 2019 there were 2,440 robbery related incidences that occurred at federally insured banks, credit unions or armored vehicles in the United States. That averages to less than seven bank robberies per day.  Surprisingly, there were only 25 injuries, 4 deaths and 15 persons that were taken hostage during those bank robberies.  As for the robbers, 82.9% were male, 45.5% were African American, 34.6% were determined to be narcotics users, and 32.6% were convicted of a similar crime in a federal or state court.   The most frequent day for a bank robbery to occur was Friday, and the most frequent time was between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Question:  What is bait money  –  Nicole from Hilo Hawaii.

Answer: Bait money is a stack of bills that are used for tracking bank robbers.  The serial number from each bill is recorded in a log.  The bait money is kept in the teller’s drawer and never handed to the customers.  When a robbery occurs, the teller gives the bait money, along with the requested cash, to the robber.  The serial numbers are then provided to law enforcement.  If the bait money is recovered, it can be used to help identify and convict the robber.

Written by: Alex Sanchez, Branch Manager

Important: For your specific questions about banking, contact your banking expert, Alex, at: alexexpertbanker@gmail.com

Alex is starting his 18th year in the banking industry.  He has worked for such notable banks as Bank of America, US Bank, and Chase.  Alex has his bachelor’s degree in Business Economic from the University of California Riverside.