Here for you every step of the way.

At First County Bank, we have a long tradition of supporting local business owners through good times and challenging ones. During these unprecedented times our team worked diligently to ensure customers were able to access their accounts and manage their finances from wherever they were working. As our community continues to adjust to the realities of living, and working, during a pandemic, our team is committed to being here for you, your business, and your family every step of the way.

We have the tools your business needs
We offer our business customers ever-expanding ways to access your accounts and manage your finances.


Online & Mobile Banking
Easily access and manage all your business accounts.


Mobile Check Deposit or Remote Deposit Capture
Deposit checks easily and securely from your phone, home, or office.


Positive Pay
Protect your accounts against check and ACH fraud.


Wire and ACH Services
Secure and convenient ways to make & receive payments.

Learn more about our Cash Management tools

Check-in for a Cash Management Checkup
Whether you are a new customer or have worked with us for years, now is a great time to get to know all of the services we have available. To help you evaluate, you are invited to connect with a member of our team for a complimentary Cash Management Checkup.

During the call or video chat, we will take the time to learn more about your business, and your challenges. We can then discuss which tools may help streamline your cash management.

To schedule an appointment send an email to cashmgmt@firstcountybank.com or call 203-462-4379.


Beware COVID-19 Scams
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a reminder to guard against tax fraud and other related financial scams related to COVID-19.

Resources for CT Businesses
The state of Connecticut has collected resources for businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 


Continuing to serve our customers

As an essential business, First County Bank has remained open throughout the pandemic to meet the needs of our customers.

While the state of Connecticut has begun allowing businesses to reopen under new guidelines, at this time we are taking a conservative approach and our branch lobbies will remain closed. We will continue to serve our customers through the drive-up windows at most of our locations as well as our CustomerFirst Contact Center.

During this time, we are working with our team and outside experts as we plan to re-open. As part of this preparation, we are reviewing the configuration of each location, as well as implementing new precautions for the safety of our customers and employees. Below are just a few of the steps we are taking:
• Limiting the number of customers in the branch at a time
• Putting up plexi-glass dividers at each teller station and desk
• Requiring employees to wear masks and gloves
• Disinfecting offices throughout the day, including sanitizing ATMs, door handles and other frequently touched surfaces, multiple times a day

Please stay tuned for more updates about our plan for branch openings. In the meantime, get 24/7 account access with online or mobile banking, and make easy cash withdrawals and deposits through our drive-up tellers or at any of our ATMs.

Stay connected with First County Bank
There are many ways to manage your accounts, move money, and complete most of your “everyday” banking without ever visiting a branch. Check out our Account Access Guide for details.


COVID-19 Resources For Homeowners

Facing financial hardship during COVID-19
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, millions are suddenly facing serious financial hardship, many may find themselves having to make choices about what bills to pay, and which ones to skip.

During “normal” times experts agree, it is always better to work with your bank or other lender before you miss a payment, than to wait until you’ve missed one (or more), as they may be willing to help manage your situation. In these very unusual circumstances, talking to your lender may also allow you to take advantage of new relief programs for homeowners, students and others introduced by the Federal Government. Many businesses are offering payment relief programs on current loans.

Here are a few links which may help as you explore your options:
• Mortgages: Federal Housing Finance Agency Coronavirus Assistance Information
• Student Loans: Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents
• Car Loans: Coronavirus Car Payment Relief Options
If you are a First County Bank mortgage loan customer facing financial hardship, we invite you to reach out to our Special Assets Group at 203-462-4400 or send an email to sag@firstcountybank.com.

How to prepare to refinance your mortgage
Refinancing your home can be a smart way to get cash out, consolidate debt, or lower your monthly payment. But before you pick up the phone, or start your application, you may want to take a little time to make sure you, and your home, are ready to refinance. 
• Gather your paperwork – Just like when you purchased your home, you will need W2s, pay stubs and other documents.
• Check your credit – Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your credit report.
• Consider your options – Use a mortgage calculator to consider what rate and term you may be looking for.
For a complete list of information, or to start your application, please visit the Mortgage Process page on our website.

Beware mortgage scams
In these unprecedented times, many people are facing economic uncertainty. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has put in place some protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages. Unfortunately, scam artists are still taking advantage of homeowners. Learn more about their tactics, along with your rights as a homeowner so you can protect yourself.

Make the most of your time at home with outside projects that have the best returns
As the weather gets nicer, add outdoor home upgrades to your to-do list. Whether you build a deck, or simply implement a new lawn care system, any improvements will have an impact on the value of your home.


Stay connected with First County Bank

Did you know many of your everyday banking transactions can be done without even stepping foot in a branch? To see the best way to manage your accounts, move money, add an account or service, and more, view our Account Access Guide on our website.

What to do if you find yourself in need of mortgage or loan relief 
Many people have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage or loan payments, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages, and protections for people with student loan payments.

For customers of First County Bank who may be having difficulty making payments, as of March 26, 2020, we will temporarily waive late fees for all loan types. If you experience difficulty in making your loan payment for a COVID-19 related issue, please contact our CustomerFirst Contact Center during regular business hours at 203-462-4400 or send an email to sag@firstcountybank.com. Visit our website for more information about Financial Assistance.

How to protect yourself and your children from identity theft 
With all of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are actively seeking out ways to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting victims. It is important to take steps to keep yourself and your children safe from identity theft.


How to Prepare for Stimulus Payments

As you are aware, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started sending out stimulus payments (Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to eligible individuals and families as a part of the recently signed CARES Act.

HOW YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT
If the IRS has a bank account on file for you for tax filing purposes, this account is where these funds will be automatically directly deposited. All others who are eligible will receive payments by paper check from the U.S. Treasury through the U.S. Mail.

For those accounts that are closed, the payment will be returned to the IRS and re-issued as a paper check, which you will receive by mail.

If you have any questions about your account, please contact our CustomerFirst Contact Center – 203.462.4400 during business hours.

HOW TO ENSURE TIMELY PAYMENT
Visit the IRS website to check your payment status, confirm your payment type (electronic or paper), and provide your direct deposit account information if you’d like to receive funds electronically.

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR PAYMENT
With Online & Mobile Banking, you can stay on top of your finances, including managing your stimulus payment.

  • Set up alerts – Receive a notice when any deposits are made into your account.
  • Make a deposit – Use our mobile banking app to deposit your paper check quickly and securely.
  • Pay bills – Sign up for online bill payment and make payments from your computer or mobile device. No stamps or trips to the mailbox required.
  • Transfer funds – You can transfer funds between accounts at First County Bank as well as at other financial institutions.

Don't forget, if you received a paper check you can make a deposit at any of our ATMs or drive-up tellers.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR MONEY
Unfortunately, scammers are looking for new and creative ways to steal your identity, and your stimulus payment. Remember, there is only one way to get your payment, and that is directly from the IRS, either electronically or by US Mail.

Follow the links below for important information on how to identify, and avoid Coronavirus-related scams:


How to protect yourself from charitable scams

Giving to charitable organizations is a wonderful thing to do, especially in times of crisis. There are plenty of worthy organizations that are uniquely set up to help and they certainly benefit from the generosity of donors.

Unfortunately, there are also plenty of scammers posing as real companies when, in fact, they are fraudulent and designed to take advantage of the kindness of strangers.

In order to make sure your hard-earned dollars go to the right causes, it is important to read up on the ways the scams can occur. Here are a few tips to ensure your money makes the impact you expect it to:

Research the organization: You might have a specific cause you want to support, like disaster relief or cancer research. Search the cause in Google with words like “best charity.” Once you find an organization that you want to give to, search the name of the organization with words like “reviews” or “scam.”

Pay attention to payment: If the organization asks you to give by gift cards, cash, or wiring money, be wary. If you pay by credit card or check, it is safer and easier to trace the transaction.

Know the tactics: Scammers have tactics to pressure people into doing things, like pressuring you to make a donation right away. They can change their caller ID to look like a local area code, or claim that the donation is tax-deductible when it is not.

To read more about how to avoid charity scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information blog. If you believe you have been the victim of charity fraud, contact the Bank right away.


Resources for Connecticut Residents during COVID-19

As the world continues to battle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its ripple effects, we want to point you in the direction of some resources for Connecticut residents.

For Residents 
Connecticut’s Official State Website - Coronavirus Disease 2019

For Businesses
Connecticut’s Official State Website - Business Resources

For the Elderly and their Caregivers
Administration for Community Living - Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

For Homeowners and Renters
Connecticut’s Official State Website - Homeowners and Renters 


How to teach your teens to save

There are many great ways to teach younger children how to save – for example, give them a cute piggy bank and show them how putting a little money into the bank each week can add up.

But as the kids get older, how can you continue those lessons? It starts with making sure they have a savings account, and for older teenagers, a checking account:

Show them the tools
Once they’ve opened their new accounts, make sure they are signed up for Online & Mobile Banking! They will appreciate the chance to check their account balances easily, and you will appreciate their ability to deposit birthday checks with mobile deposit.

Let them manage the money
Consider how much you spend on clothing, health & beauty products and even school supplies for your teenager in the course of a year. Divide this amount by 12 months, and schedule to have that amount deposited into their account automatically each month.

Then, when it’s time to go shopping for new shoes, face wash or folders, let them pay using the money you have given them already. The process will allow them to learn how to budget, save up for something special, and comparison shop.

Teach them how to pay themselves first
If your teenager goes to work somewhere with a payroll system, show them how to set it up so that part of their paycheck automatically goes into their savings account, rather than checking. They probably won’t feel the difference, but will notice the growth of both accounts.

Getting paid for babysitting, dog walking, or other entrepreneurial endeavors? Encourage them to transfer a bit of each deposit into their savings account.

Talk about money
It is ingrained in most of us to avoid talking about money, but being honest with your teenagers about how much you make, where your money goes, and the choices you make with your money, will help them make smarter choices on their own.

Ultimately, by teaching our teenagers how to be better savers, we are putting them onto a path towards financial independence and security.


How to use alerts to keep track of debit card activity

Monitoring your debit card activity is an easy way to keep track of your money, and protect your financial identity.

At First County Bank, you can use Online Banking to sign up to receive an email or text alert when a purchase, above the dollar amount you select, is made with your First County Bank debit card. You can also receive related alerts including when your account falls below a certain balance, or a withdrawal over a certain amount is made.

To set up an alert, visit FirstCountyBank.com and log in to Online Banking. Then, click Manage My Alerts and select from the list available.


Springtime Savings Tips

If you’re like us, you might spend the first few weeks of spring with the urge to clean, organize, and declutter everything in sight. Whether you tackle your home, car, desk, or finances, it usually makes you feel better to get everything back in order. We don’t have any cleaning tips to offer, but we can give suggestions for ways to save money during the spring.

Skip eating take out
Pack your lunch and cook dinner at home. Enjoy fresh spring produce such as parsnips, peas, asparagus, chard, scallions, lettuce, and parsley.

Get moving in the great outdoors
Do you use your gym membership? If it’s just a monthly drain on your account, consider canceling it and exercising in nature by hiking, running or biking.

Coordinate a plant swap
Before going to a garden center to buy new plants for your garden, talk to your friends and see if they have some they might want to give you or split for you.

Shop spring sales
Browse for discounted winter gear and winter tools. Ski and snowboarding equipment is usually discounted this time of year, along with snowblowers and shovels.

Fix up your home
If any problems presented themselves over the winter (leaks, lack of insulation, etc.) spring is a good time to fix them in order to save on utility bills next winter.

Be strategic with your tax refund
Use the extra money to pay off debt or save for a big goal like a summer vacation, or retirement.


Security Tip - Protect Yourself from Mailbox Fishing Schemes

Lately there have been several reports of mailbox fishing - a scheme where thieves target the classic blue U.S.P.S. collection boxes with the pull-down handles. They obtain envelopes by using a wire or string attached to a sticky object, like a mousetrap.

Once the thieves have the stolen mail, they look for checks and other forms of money or personal information. Then, they use a solvent to wash the original writing off the check. From there, they can easily alter the dollar amount, and the payee. Next, they typically ask a middleman (also known as a “mule”) to deposit the check on their behalf in exchange for a cut of the stolen money. Victims of this scam can end up losing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

In response, the United States Postal Service has upgraded some of their boxes to ones with a slender mail slot in an attempt to hinder the thieves’ ability to fit their fishing device into the box.

The best way to protect yourself when sending a check is to use Bill Pay through Online Banking. If you are using a hard copy check, it is best to hand the envelope directly to the mail carrier, or drop it off inside the post office. It is not a good idea to send cash through the mail. It is better to use a check, money order, or a secure check, which can be more challenging for thieves to alter. When filling out a check, use gel ink which is more difficult to erase, and avoid leaving blank spaces on your check.

If you suspect that one of your checks has been intercepted, contact our CustomerFirst contact center at 203-462-4400 (Weekdays / 8:30am-4:30pm) or 203-462-4300 (Touch-tone / 24/7).