24 March 2021
AMBA Military Banks:
Over the past two weeks, the Air Force and Army have issued separate memoranda ordering their installation commanders to “discontinue working with the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) on the Military Saves Campaign until further notice.”
Immediately upon receiving the Air Force letter two weeks ago, AMBA reached out to the DoD Office of Financial Readiness for clarification. Specifically, after lodging our protest that this “cease and desist” order seemed heavy-handed given the tremendous success previous Military Saves programs have had in encouraging military families to save money, we asked whether the letter applies to banks operating on military installations. DoD’s replied that they would provide a coordinated reply as soon as possible.
Two weeks have elapsed since our query; we have received no response. Military Saves Month is scheduled to begin next week. Under the circumstances, we feel it necessary to provide our member banks operating on military installations our thoughts about their continued participation in this annual event:
- We recommend that until these letters are superseded or rescinded, military banks discontinue all Military Saves Month activities in your branches operating on Army and Air Force installations.
- Because we have not received similar guidance from the Navy or Marine Corps, we see no need to issue a similar recommendation to banks operating on their installations.
We and our banks that have promoted Military Saves programs in the past understand that this recommendation falls heavily on the military families you are committed to serve. Nevertheless, because DoD has yet to clarify the scope of the Army’s and Air Force’s letters, we are concerned that any banks on their installations that continue to promote Military Saves Month may be sanctioned in some way. Should these circumstances change in the coming days, we will modify our recommendation accordingly.
AMBA will continue to digitally participate in Military Saves Month on social media and in our blog. As it makes sense for your bank to promote Military Saves Month off the installation, we encourage you to do so. We have a page on AMBA website dedicated to the Campaign: https://ambahq.org/military-saves/.
Finally, the Army and Air Force letters are attached for your review. Please let us know if you have any questions.