Thursday, June 3, 2010


The big banks on Wall Street -- JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- have had an incredible year, getting huge taxpayer bail-outs, making record profits and paying out multi-million dollar bonuses to their CEOs while many of them are still participating in all the highly leveraged activities that caused our housing and credit crisis in the first place. 
I'd like to say the good news is that Congress is poised to pass major financial reforms later this month, so the President can sign the bill before the 4th of July. The problem is the bill they're planning to pass isn't good enough. Don't take it from me. Here's what the New York Times said about it last week:
The financial reform legislation making its way through Congress has Wall Street executives privately relieved that the bill does not do more to fundamentally change how the industry does business.

Despite the outcry from lobbyists and warnings from conservative Republicans that the legislation will choke economic growth, bankers and many analysts think that the bill approved by the Senate last week will reduce Wall Street's profits but leave its size and power largely intact.
In other words, too big to fail banks will still be too big to fail. It's time to take matters into our own hands. So today we're joining the Move Your Money campaign started by the good people at The Huffington Post. Declare your independence from big banks and pledge to Move Your Money to a local community bank or credit union today.


Community banks and credit unions don't act like the big banks. Typically, they're more responsible in how they manage their money, they're more closely connected to the people and businesses who live near them, and they're more inclined to make loans they know will get paid back. And your local credit union isn't going to ask Congress for a multi-billion dollar bail-out either. These are the qualities most people want banks to have.

The idea is simple.

To regular Americans this issue isn't Left or Right -- it just makes sense. If enough people move their money from a big bank to a smaller, more local, more traditional community bank, we can break up the big banks ourselves. By working together, we won't have to wait for Congress make change happen.


We can send a message to Congress, the President and every candidate running for office that we don't trust big banks with our money. But it's up to us to do it.

Let's get started right now. Thank you for everything you do.



It may seem daunting to move your money or to get other people and organizations in your town to follow your lead. We put together these resources for you to use and share with others. Can’t find the info you need here? Check our FAQ. If you still can’t find an answer to your question, contact us and we’ll do our best to help you out.


7 Easy Steps to Move Your Checking Account

Big banks have the advantage of inertia. Moving your checking and savings accounts is not as simple as switching grocery stores. You’ll have to maintain both your new and old accounts for a few weeks until everything switches over. That can be a little tricky, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. After you’ve found your new financial institution, follow this simple sequence compiled by Stacy Mitchell of the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative and keep an eye on things. It should go smoothly and, in a few weeks, you’ll be in a brand new banking relationship.
1. Open your new account.
In most cases, you should be able open a checking account with an initial deposit of between $25 and $100. At a credit union, you’ll also become a member and co-owner at the same time.

2. Order your new debit/ATM card and checks.
These typically arrive within 1 to 2 weeks. You may also want to apply for a credit card from your new local institution.

3. If you use direct deposit, ask your employer to reroute your paycheck to your new account.
When you open your new account, ask the bank or credit union for a direct deposit authorization form that includes your new account information. Give this form to your employer and anyone else who makes direct deposits to your account. It may take one or more pay cycles for the change to be made, so keep your old checking account open and watch for the switch.

4. Contact companies that direct-debit your account.
Using your last bank statement, make a list of any businesses that you’ve authorized to directly debit your account. Ask your new bank or credit union for an automatic payments authorization form that includes your new account information. Send this to the businesses on your list.

5. Set up online bill paying for your new account.
If you like to pay bills online, set up bill payment information for your new account. Meanwhile,stop any automatic recurring payments you have established through your old account.

6. Close your old account.
Once you have started receiving direct deposits into your new account and are sure that there are no outstanding checks or automatic debits that need to clear, close your old account. Warning: do not just withdraw the last dollar and assume the account will fade away on its own. Your old big bank may start charging you fees for having an empty or inactive checking account. Instead, follow the bank’s procedure for closing out the account.

7. Enjoy your new local banking relationship!

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