Lakeland Bank announces the debut of Elite Checking, a premium checking account designed to provide new and existing customers with valuable identity theft protection. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. That is an alarming number of victims, and Lakeland Bank now offers customers the reassurance that their personal information is being monitored and safeguarded.

“Elite Checking delivers on our commitment to provide our customers with exceptional products and services,” said Robert Vandenbergh, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lakeland Bank. “The most valuable asset our customers have is their identity and now we can help them protect their personal information.”

The premier Elite Checking is part of a revamped lineup of personal checking products at Lakeland Bank. Now, all customers will receive at least $1,000 personal identity protection, payment card protection, and identity recovery and restoration benefits. An extensive customer-focused communications campaign launches this month to guide customers through the automatic upgrade to one of the new checking accounts.

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Elite Checking provides customers with total identity theft protection including identity theft monitoring and $5,000 personal identity protection. Plus they will receive the added benefits of cell phone replacement protection, $10,000 travel accidental death insurance, and through the discount network site known as BaZing they will have access to savings on shopping, dining, travel and health discounts from over 300,000 national and local merchants.

The monthly service charge for Elite Checking is just $6, but customers have the opportunity to minimize or eliminate the charge. Here’s how it works: the fee is reduced by $0.50 per month as long as the customer is enrolled for eStatements and by $0.25 every time a customer makes a debit card purchase that is posted and cleared during the statement period.

“To simplify the process of upgrading to one of the new checking products, Lakeland Bank customers will keep their account number, use their same checks and keep the automatic payments or deposits already established for their account,” added Ronald E. Schwarz, executive vice president and chief retail officer of Lakeland Bank. “Customer service hours will also be extended between March 6th and April 30th to answer any questions.” The Call Center will be open Monday through Friday, 7 am to 9 pm, Saturday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm during this period.

To learn more about Elite Checking or our new checking product lineup visit, call 866-224-1379 or visit your local Lakeland Bank office.

About Lakeland Bank

Lakeland Bancorp, the holding company for Lakeland Bank, has an asset base of approximately $2.8 billion and 47 offices spanning six northern New Jersey counties: Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren. Lakeland Bank offers an extensive array of consumer and commercial products and services, including online banking, localized commercial lending teams and 24-hour or less turnaround time on consumer loan applications. For more information about the bank’s full line of products and services, visit their website at