Bank Where Your Heart Is

Move Your Money… Bank Local… Bank Transfer Day… Break with your bank! No matter what you call it, the movement is huge and gaining momentum. What started with an idea on Arianna Huffington’s television show took over a year to gain wide spread attention, but it has “legs” now, thanks in great part to Occupy Wall Street.

The anger of Occupy’s protestors has been channeled in many parts of the country into the practical, concrete action of divesting in mega-banks and opening accounts in local banking institutions. Breaking with your “too-big-to-fail” bank turns protest into action—words into deeds. What is a more powerful message to the mega-banks than taking away their money? What could more effectively undermine their power over our lives and our communities than a huge divestiture action—a “little investors” movement in every part of the country—people investing their money in their communities  by  banking where their hearts are.

Green America, MoveOn, Bill Maher, and Michael Moore have all joined the movement, as has Van Jones and Rebuild the American Dream. Bank Transfer Day is the latest to generate a huge response—a call by an L.A. businessman on Facebook to transfer accounts from Wall Street banks to credit unions on November 5. 

It’s time for WILPF to be part of the movement.

Moving our money is a specific, solid, practical challenge to corporate rule. Let’s refuse to support those big corporate banks by putting our national, branch and personal accounts into independent banking institutions in our communities. Besides, as Vickie Fouts says, “Maybe it won’t hurt the CEOs and stock holders that much, but it sure would be keeping your money in the community, helping a neighbor, and taking part in actual progressive behavior." As an organization, WILPF has resolved to support local banks. Currently, WILPF holds its operating accounts with one of the mega-banks. However, we are committed to transfer our accounts to a local Boston bank (where WILPF US is headquartered). We are currently researching options to do so and welcome input into this decision.

To get started in your branch, go to www.wilpf.org/taxonomy/term/26 and scroll down to The Case for Credit Unions by Vickie Fouts (WILPF Fresno) and Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do, a simple outline of actions your branch can take to join the campaign.

You’ll find more resources at www.EndCorporateRule.us under State and Local Banks. 

The Santa Cruz branch and the WILPF CvD committee have developed a “Bank Where Your Heart Is” packet available on request by emailing Nancy Abbey at nabbey@cruzio.com.

Let’s bank where our hearts are and break up with those “too-big-to-fail” banks. 

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