This Valentine’s Day, Green America is encouraging all Americans to take a close look at one of their most important relationships – the ones with their banks. It may be time to break up. We mostly think of banks as a safe place to store our money and withdraw it when needed, or the institution that issues our credit card. But, if you bank with a mega-bank (like Bank of America, Citi, or Wells Fargo) do you really know what happens to your money when you deposit it, or what you are supporting with each swipe of your credit card? Your banking could be supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline! And, do you know the full impact of your mega-bank on your wallet? Do you know all the fees you are being charged, and are you tired of an increasing array of charges each month just for banking? Mega-banks are out to make as much profit as possible from your money, and they probably don’t share your values. What’s Wrong with the Mega-Banks
- Citi, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and several other mega-banks are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that threatens the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the drinking water of millions of people.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has repeatedly found that mega-banks are ripping off and abusing consumers and as a result has returned nearly $12 billion to 27 million consumers.
- Mega-banks and Wall Street investment firms are pushing hard to roll back the regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crash to prevent another one. Getting rid of regulations will let their profits soar but will put us all at risk for bailing out the industry again when it crashes.
Heard enough? If you have an account with a mega-bank, today’s the day to commit to a break-up. You may not be able to break up with your mega-bank in one day, but you can start the process today, and then move your money to a community bank or credit union that invests locally. That’s what Seattle recently did when it pledged to remove $3 billion from Wells Fargo accounts because of the bank’s investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. How to Break Up
- Take a selfie with a sign about how you are breaking up with your bank and post on social media with #breakupwithyourmegabank. (Don't want to take a selfie? Just take a photo of a sign!)Once you’ve told your friends and family you’re breaking up, you'll be more likely to hold yourself to that commitment, and it may prompt some friends to follow your lead. Print these signs or create your own!
• If you invest in DAPL, then we’re through • Money Talks and Mine Is Saying Goodbye • I lost interest in you after you invested in DAPL • Dear [Mega-bank]: It’s not me, it’s you • I’m leaving you for a better bank
- Start moving your accounts over to community-based institutions with these simple steps. You’ll be glad you did! Find a great community investing bank or and credit union in our database.
- Switch your credit card to one of these that benefit people and the planet.
- Share your break-up experience with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #breakupwithyourmegabank.