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Most people are not saving, survey finds

CHICAGO --- Even after the jolt of the Great Recession, a new study finds that most Americans are not financially prepared for an emergency.

A survey released Monday by Bankrate.com found that only 24 percent of consumers have the recommended cushion of at least six months' expenses set aside. The majority aren't ready for contingencies; an additional 24 percent don't have any emergency savings at all.

"The majority of Americans still have much work to do in building an adequate emergency savings cushion," said Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst for Bankrate.

The survey results are somewhat surprising, he said, in that the high rates of both joblessness and under-employment dating to the 2007-09 recession have driven home the need for emergency savings. Yet the challenges of the economy have limited the ability to sock money away.

Respondents younger than 30 and those with annual incomes of less than $30,000 were the most likely to report having no emergency savings. The likeliest were higher-income households and people in their 50s and 60s.

PNC to buy U.S. banks from Canada group

NEW YORK --- PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said Monday that it is buying the U.S. retail operations of Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion.

PNC said that the transaction will bring its total to 2,870 branches and make it the fifth-biggest among U.S. banks. RBC Bank (USA), based in Raleigh, N.C., now has 424 branches and about $25 billion of assets.

PNC has also agreed to buy certain credit card assets of RBC Bank, (Georgia) National Association. RBC says that it will receive $165 million for the assets.

Google, library unite to put books online

LONDON --- A treatise on a stuffed hippopotamus and a description of the first engine-driven submarine are among 250,000 books to be made available online in a deal between Google and the British Library.

The agreement will let Internet users read, search, download and copy thousands of texts published between 1700 and 1870. It is a small step toward the library's goal of making the bulk of its 14 million books and 1 million periodicals available in digital form by 2020.

The deal marks another step in Google's effort to make digital copies of the world's estimated 130 million books.

In other news

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed Monday that it has opened a broad investigation into the companies that turn crude oil into gasoline, looking into whether they have engaged in anti-competitive practices or manipulation to drive up prices at the pump.


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