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Seniors today have a variety of options when it comes to how they manage their finances; but security, ease of access, and finding a trusted partner matter just as much as good rates.

For seniors in Chattanooga that are striving to keep themselves safe from fraud and find products that benefit them, there's a local, community bank that is invested them just as much in SouthEast Bank. What sets them apart from others in the area can be summed up in four key areas:
· Seniors can find special products built for them. SouthEast Bank launched a new senior focused product, Thrive Checking, to address their unique concerns. This free checking product goes one step further for seniors giving them extra perks like free cashier's checks, a credit towards safe deposit box fees and an extra bump in CD rates so customers can earn above the  posted market rate. Accounts like this can help those on a fixed income stretch their dollars further.

"I love that we listen to our customers' needs and give them options to earn money and save money based on the feedback we receive," explained Juli-Ann Morgan, Vice President and Branch Manager for SouthEast in Chattanooga. "It's wonderful to work for a bank that continues to nurture and expand relationships with the senior age group and offer products that make them feel valued."

· Protection against fraud and scams. Fraud is on the rise and is targeting seniors across the globe, both online and on the phone. Seniors need to have a financial partner they can call and talk to before giving out their information. They should remember that their bank will not call them or email them and ask them for their account details or access to their account passwords. If they are concerned at all, they should hang up and then call their branch. Fraudsters try to create a false sense of urgency to make people give up their information. If you are uncomfortable, hang up immediately and call the bank directly. It's not rude. It's about keeping your finances safe.

"Some of the most common scams we see are fraudsters impersonating the IRS or Social Security office with threat of arrest if they don't 'pay what is due,'" Morgan shared. "This scare tactic is often frightening enough to cause people to give over their confidential information or actually send funds to the criminals. We make sure our senior clients know that these scams are out there and to never give their personal information to anyone over the phone."

She went on to say that at SouthEast, they work to stay extra vigilant at the branch level and educate all bank employees on red flags for elder abuse.

"We make sure that all of our customers have a direct contact at the bank they can reach out to if they are ever suspicious that they are being targeted for fraud," she said.

· Technology and People –the best of both worlds. SouthEast Bank has invested in building great, easy to use technology that benefits the senior population. This includes mobile and desktop banking, access to 55,000 free ATMs coast-to-coast and friendly, local staff members to help you if you have questions about your account or how best to use our mobile app.

"While we recognize that technology is not a selling point to everyone, we still love doing business the old-fashioned way too," Morgan said. "For customers that still desire face to face interaction, we have a beautiful new branch downtown with complimentary parking. Our branch staff is equipped to help seniors with not only setting up accounts but also switching direct deposits and ACH payments. Customer service is at top of mind for us at all times." 

· Communication. SouthEast's staff is here to help customers find the account that is right for them and help get the most out of your banking. They are dedicated to making opening an account easy to do and hassle free, helping you to understand how to use our online banking products and to keep you safe.

"We have two convenient branches in the Chattanooga area: one in the Liberty Tower downtown (complimentary parking next door under the Republic Centre building) with Monday – Thursday hours 8:30-4:30 and Friday 8:30-5. Our Ooltewah branch is located at 9218 Lee Highway with Monday-Thursday hours 8:30-4:30 and Friday 8:30-5," Morgan added.

To learn more about SouthEast Bank and their products and services, contact the local branch nearest you, or find them on Facebook.

"I love that we listen to our customers' needs and give them options to earn money and save money based on the feedback we receive," Juli-Ann Morgan.

For more information:

To learn more about SouthEast Bank, contact them at 423-242-6300 (downtown) or 423-238-4403 (Ooltewah).