IMPORTANT!!

We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.





If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.


Fast Access




GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Edition #705


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

March 19, 2013 Edition #704

March 12, 2013 Edition #703

March 5, 2013 Edition #702

February 26, 2013 Edition #701


Weekly Spotlight:

Looking for the best loan rates in town? Find them here!


Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
March 24, 2013 6 Mo Ago
09/24/12
1 Yr Ago
03/26/12
5 Yrs Ago
03/25/08
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 1,172.29 or 8.76% since 12/31/12)
14,559.65 (+0.77%) 13,558.92 13,241.63 12,532.60
S&P 500
(Up 137.58 or 9.65% since 12/31/12)
1,563.77 (+0.78%) 1,456.89 1,416.51 1,352.99
NASDAQ
(Up 232.97 or 7.72% since 12/31/12)
3,252.48 (+0.53%) 3,160.78 3,122.57 2,341.05
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.91% 1.72% 2.24% 3.49%
British Sterling 1.5161 1.6225 1.5865 1.9809
Euro 1.2862 1.2977 1.3265 1.5400

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1st Flash

Popmoney To The Rescue!

You know your brother's birthday is at the end of March, but how did the weeks fly by so quickly? It's here already and you haven't bought a gift!

You're at lunch with a group of friends or co-workers. You have enough cash to cover your share. But when the tab arrives, the math is easier if you split the bill equally. Now you're wishing you went with the steak like a couple of the others did. You can't quite cover your share anyway.

Your kid can't make it home from college, calls the day before Easter claiming he doesn't have enough money for the train fare. He'll just catch a ride with a friend heading to a spring break party instead.

Your travel buddies stumbled on the perfect beach house for vacation. But need to put the deposit in today to secure it for the dates you want.

You forgot to pay your landscaper. Or forgot your checkbook when you picked up your child at day care.

Admit it. There are times in life when you need cash to be somewhere you can't physically reach. It happens to all of us.

Popmoney to the rescue!

Popmoney is a personal payment service that makes sending and receiving money as easy as emailing and texting. All you need is a name and email address or mobile phone number to transfer money directly to them.

The best part is that it's already available to GCF Online Banking Bill Pay customers with no further registration needed on your part. If you're not already using GCF Bill Pay, Popmoney is one more great reason to start.

There are over 1800 banks currently in the Popmoney network. Chances are good the person or business you're sending money to is already among them so they already have access. If not, a simple one-time enrollment at Popmoney.com will assure they get your money transfer quick and easy every time you use the service.

GCF Online Banking Bill Pay customers can find Popmoney through their Touch Banking app or the full scale Bill Pay on their computer. Login to Online Banker and choose the Bill Payment link that appears in your checking account information.

You'll see the Popmoney menu item listed between Manage My Bills and My Accounts on your Bill Pay screen. Click it to find just how easy it is to use.

Once you send money to someone, your contact information is saved so you don't need to perform the entire drill time after time. Popmoney allows you to save multiple email addresses or phone numbers for each contact. No problem if you use a different email address than you did last time. They'll still get your money.

An activity log tracks all of your transactions to give you a handy record of which payments were made and when. Or stop payment on any transaction still tagged as pending. Even if the contact has already been notified that payment was made, you can change your mind right up until the time they claim the money.

Are you sending money as a gift? Add an eGreeting card at no extra charge! The standard 50 cent transaction fee is all it will cost you.

Questions? Visit our Web site.


On The World Wide Web

Concerned about the quality care you'll receive at a hospital? If there has been a violation or deficiency noted at inspection, you can find it here. Search by city, state or name of hospital.

What happens to a pet when his human is deployed? Become a foster to a pet of deployed or wounded soldiers. Learn how.

Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages to deployed U.S. service members annually. Request a care package for someone you know, write a thank you letter to our heroes or donate to their cause at this site.

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2nd Flash

Why Cyprus?

The tiny island of Cyprus, off the Greek coast, became the epicenter of the financial world this week. There's no better illustration of how the smallest among us can take down the mighty in a global economy.

We're watching a modern-day David and Goliath epic unfold.

The island's population is just over one million, the third largest in the Mediterranean Sea. They gained independence from England in 1960 and grown to become one of the more prosperous economies in the region.

That is, until the Eurozone financial and banking crisis reared its head. The banks of Cyprus invested heavily in Greek bonds. As Greece's banks began to fail, they didn't go alone. In June 2012, the once prosperous nation found its Fitch credit rating downgraded to junk status.

Cyprus isn't without resources. The island is a popular tourist destination, property value is high along with demand. Significant amounts of offshore natural gas have been found in the area. Financial services and the shipping industry contribute a significant amount to its economy.

The U.S. financial downturn and ensuing Euro economic turmoil rippled down to the tiny island. Tourism was down, shipping stalled. Unemployment grew. State debt increased.

Cyprus had very lax laws in opening foreign accounts. So lax that they've drawn criticism from other eurozone countries, assuming that much of the money is tied to crime. Deposits alone are roughly eight times the island's annual economic output.

With financial services such a high component of the country's economy, a collapse of its banks would wreak havoc.

Cyprus looked for unique ways to solve their economic woes. They requested a bailout from the European Commission (EC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 25, 2012. Terms were reached that included cuts in civil service salaries, social benefits, higher public health care charges, tobacco, alcohol and fuel taxes, and taxes on lottery winnings. But the amount was still in negotiation.

The parties bargained until March 16, 2013 when a 10 billion euro deal was reached. Accounts held in Cyprus banks were to be levied as part of the deal.

Now there was dissent. The people revolted. The Russian government protested. They had existing loans with Cyprus and $31 billion deposited in their banks.

Russia offered to lend the island the money it needed to stabilize their financial system in return for rights to the country's natural gas deposits. Cyprus wisely turned down the deal. It would have helped their immediate problem, but closed the door to the country's future.

Instead, Cyprus considered an across-the-board bank tax on all deposits regardless of size. If the government thought the people were angry before, they quickly learned things could get worse. It neared mass hysteria as people flocked the banks to pull their money out.

The deal eventually reached with the IMF on March 25th is monumental. The Popular Bank of Cyprus, Laiki Bank, will shut down. Deposits less than 100,000 euros ($130,000) will move to the Bank of Cyprus who will receive remaining assets from the failed bank.

Deposits above 100,000 euros, not protected by EU law, will be frozen and used to pay for the deal. They're expected to amount to 4.2 billion euros ($5.5 billion). Account holders will lose an estimated 30-40% of their assets. Far more than the 10% originally suggested.

The bailout package includes conditions that will change the face of the Cyprus financial sector. Reforms to restore imbalances and implementation of an anti-money laundering framework are among them.

So was the 10% bank tax such a bad idea in reflection? Maybe not. For Cyprus, a large percentage of that was in accounts held by foreigners and didn't affect the country's economy directly.

To contrast, the Federal Reserve reports the median U.S. household lost nearly 39% of its wealth from 2007 to 2010. Middle-class families took the biggest hit since their net worth was dependent on the value of their home.

Savers are finding inflation outpacing earnings as interest rates remain at all-time lows. The economy may be slowly recovering, but citizens are still losing money.

The crisis is not yet over. It's a lot like a chess match. One move can change the game. Who will make the winning move?


Tip of the Week

Here's another tip on choosing the right nursing home submitted by a reader: Does the staff greet you with a smile or even say hello as you tour? If not, cross this one off of your list.


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Quotable

"Humility does not mean you think less of yourself. It means you think of yourself less." - Ken Blanchard


Today in History

1953 - Dr. Jonas Salk announces new vaccine to prevent polio.


Flash Fact

Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases down to 1,604 reported cases. It can strike a person of any age, but children five and under comprise 50% of its victims.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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PURPOSE:

GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.

GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT

For a copy of our Privacy Policy, visit www.gcfbank.com/gcflash_privacy.aspx

GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member's e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at netaccess@gcfbank.com.

If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, click this link to send us an email to unsubscribe. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.


GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 589-6600
www.gcfbank.com