BoA targets college kids in financial literacy push

CHICAGO: Bank of America (BoA) is reaching out to college students with a multipronged effort to promote financial literacy and responsibility.

CHICAGO: Bank of America (BoA) is reaching out to college students with a multipronged effort to promote financial literacy and responsibility.

Beginning October 17, Farnoosh Torabi, a TheStreet.com TV correspondent and author of You're So Money, will host a series of “couch chats” at US college campuses. Locations are still being finalized.

“It's about saving, not spending,” said Diane Wagner, SVP of media relations for BoA. “We have had a literacy program for years. This is an opportunity to mention the services we have [for students].”

This summer, the bank conducted a nationwide survey of 300 students and 300 parents. It found that while 90% of students believed they were prepared to manage their finances this semester, 42% had overdrawn their bank account at some point. In addition, 33% said they were not knowledgeable about online banking, while two-thirds said they did not know about mobile banking. As a generation dependent on cell phones, Wagner said, mobile banking is a money management resource they should depend on.

“It's a great example of how they can make sure they have money before they spend [it],” she added. “The key [is] to get them on the right path.”

BoA's campaign initially launched August 27 with an RMT and SMT with Torabi and the introduction of the webisode series “Morris on Campus,” which contains information about money management and the bank's products for young adults. The webisodes are being promoted on www.bankofamerica.com/oncampus, as well as at banking centers and via ATM notices.

Other campaign elements include “Be Money on Campus,” a contest where students submit financial tips to compete for a $25,000 grand prize.

Emanate PR, BoA's AOR, is assisting with the coordination of various elements of the student campaign.

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