With identity theft becoming one of the country's fastest-growing crimes, the Independent Community Bankers of America has teamed up with St Paul Travelers to help ease the burden for its member banks by offering insurance to assist with the cost of reimbursing identity theft victims.

The ICBA and St Paul Travelers will provide the coverage to community banks to offer to customers and employees, and reimburse victims for the most common out-of-pocket expenses incurred when someone is victimized by identity theft.

These expenses can include lost wages, attorney fees (for suits brought incorrectly by merchants or their collection agencies, removing criminal or civil judgments wrongly entered against the victim and challenging incorrect information in a credit report), notary fees and certified mail charges.

Nancy Ruyle, chairman of ICBA’s bank services committee, said, Identity theft is on nearly everyone’s mind at present, and this type of protection offers peace of mind that, if one becomes a victim, one can mitigate the expenses incurred to restore one’s good credit. Community banks can offer this to customers or even bank employees as a low-cost benefit.