Churches Move $10 Million From Wells Fargo

Community banks and credit unions saw big business on Bank Transfer Day in 2011, when some individual and business customers elected to move their funds out of big financial institutions. J.D. Power and Associates says that nearly ten (10) percent of Americans switched their bank last year, primarily from large banks to smaller ones. And J.D. Power and Associates specifically cite Bank Transfer Day in their press release dated February 27, 2012:

Last week, it was reported in Think Progress that San Francisco churches moved ten (10) million dollars from Wells Fargo. Angry at the Wall Street banks that were at the center of the financial meltdown, American people and some institutions have spent the last six months moving their money to credit unions and community banks in unprecedented numbers.[i] More than six hundred and fifty thousand (650,000) people moved to credit unions in one (1) month last year, and five point six (5.6) million Americans switched banks in the last three (3) months.[ii]

Religious organizations have been at the forefront of movements to get consumers to move their money from Wall Street banks to credit unions and community banks.[iii] The New Bottom Line, a coalition of faith groups, pledged to move one (1) billion dollars this year. Before Thanksgiving of last year, churches moved fifty-five (55) million dollars away from Wall Street banks with pledges to remove as much as one hundred (100) million more dollars in 2012.[iv] Toward that goal, last week, churches in San Francisco announced they were moving another ten (10) million dollars, Faith in Public Life reports:

“[Last] week, a group of clergy in San Francisco added another ten (10) million dollars to that total with an Ash     Wednesday press conference calling on Wells Fargo to put an immediate freeze on its foreclosures and     repent for their misconduct.”[v]

In response to the protests, Wells Fargo issued a statement saying, “We make every effort to avoid foreclosure.[vi] The bank’s practices, however, tell a different story. Last July, it foreclosed on a family after telling it to skip payments in order to get a loan modification.[vii] It was found to have engaged in discriminatory lending practices, investigated for illegal foreclosures on military veterans, and fined for its subprime lending practices.”[viii]

According to consulting firms, the nation’s ten (10) biggest banks could lose $185 million in customer deposits because of customer defections.[ix]

Source(s) “Bank transfer day had an impact”., Think Progress, Travis Waldron, February 24, 2012. “Bank Transfer Day: How much impact did it have?” Gloria Goodale, The Christian Science Monitor, November 11, 2011.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art.

[i] “San Francisco Churches Move $10 Million From Wells Fargo”, Think Progress, Travis Waldron, February 24, 2012.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Ibid.

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