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Banks to occupy Times Square

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

Consumers who visit New York City during the holiday season might be surprised to see messages from a community bank trade group displayed on one of the jumbo screens in Times Square.

It's not a mistake or prank, however.

Rather, the Independent Community Bankers of America, or ICBA, is taking its "Go Local Main Street" message to Wall Street, featuring an hourly community bank–focused message on the CBS Spectacular jumbo screen, according to an ICBA announcement.

The message encourages consumers to "make a statement" by choosing a community bank.

Chris Lorence, ICBA executive vice president, said in the announcement the association is "thrilled to take its positive Main Street message to Wall Street."

"ICBA's goal in producing the Jumbotron messaging is to capture consumers' attention in a spectacular forum like Time Square, and remind them that they have a choice when it comes to their banking relationship. If they want to do something about bad banking, they can go local with their community bank and keep their hard earned money at home where they live, work and worship," Lorence said.

The ICBA message, slated to run until Jan. 1, 2012, is part of a public relations campaign the association launched in October. The campaign encourages consumers to bank locally with a community bank, so they can "enjoy a relationship-based banking experience, superior customer service and the pride that comes with reinvesting in one's community," the association said.

The campaign also encourages consumers to shop and dine locally, drawing attention to community self-reliance and, at the same time, taking aim at larger national banks and corporations.

"Community banks reinvest in ways that drive their local economy," the ICBA said. "They create jobs by helping small business owners finance their entrepreneurial endeavors on Main Street, and they enable families to purchase homes and cars, finance college educations and build financial security."

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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