The New Bottom Line project says “Bank Transfer Season 2012 Kicks Off in San Francisco“:
Yesterday, clergy in San Francisco announced plans to divest $10 million from Wells Fargo.
40 clergy from across San Francisco gathered outside the headquarters of Wells Fargo to call on the bank to put an immediate freeze on all foreclosure activity and conduct broad-based principal reduction for underwater homeowners. It came just days after the San Francisco recorder-assessor, Phil Ting, released a report casting doubt on the legality of 85% of the foreclosure activity taking place in the city. The clergy were joined by another 50 community leaders.
The event was held on Ash Wednesday in the Christian liturgical calendar, the start of the Lenten season, and included a clear call to the bank to “repent” and atone for their misconduct. One of the clergy-persons, Rev. Gloria del Castillo, gave testimony about her own experience of going through foreclosure with Wells Fargo, despite being a faithful client of the bank for more than three decades. She then proceeded to sprinkle ashes on the sidewalk in front of the bank.
The New Bottom Line project is a faith-based effort urging churches and other religous groups to Move Our Money — shifting their accounts from too-big-to-give-a-fig mega-banks and into community-based local banks and credit unions.
The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions. Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end “Too Big To Fail,” and with Congress unwilling to act, we are encouraging individuals to take power into their own hands by voting with their dollars and no longer contributing to a financial system that has led our country astray. We are a campaign that gives people real, concrete actions they can take to create a more sane, stable and localized banking system.
This works. It transfers our own money to places where it works to help us all, rather than being siphoned away to line Potter’s pockets and to pay the lobbyists that help to make sure it always will.
But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what’s wrong with that? Why … here, you’re all businessmen here. Doesn’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You … you said … what’d you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken down that they … Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about … they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!
Some additional helpful resources:
- Consumerism Commentary: “Bank Switch Kit and Check List“
- Marketplace: “How to switch banks, the smart way“
- Chris Morran: “7 Easy Steps to Safely Switching to a New Bank“