I’m not with Bank of America but I’ve been shopping around for another bank. As I‘ve been listening to NPR, I’m learning that many of us have. We may not have sleeping bags out on Liberty Square, but there are other ways to let your dissatisfaction be known with the policies and culture of many big banks.
Like many I’ve been scrambling trying to secure my finances as much as possible because with all of the economic uncertainty, it’s hard to get a grasp on the next financial step. Should you invest in Treasury Bonds? Stock? Gold? Solar Energy? Place cash in a shoe box and bury it in your back yard?
I’m a subscriber to a couple of financial newsletters to help me navigate through this mess. Not that any of these people have all the answers, but thinking about these things, for me, is like cracking a window and putting my nose to the crack so that I don’t die from smoke inhalation.
These times are important and historic for us all, so I wanted to share this article by David Eifrig about an alternative to “Big Bank Consumer Abuse.” May it inspire you to DO SOMETHING. I’ve reposted the article below.
The Simplest, Easiest Way to Turn Your Back on Big Banks
By Dr. David Eifrig, editor, Retirement Millionaire
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sallie Krawcheck is getting paid over $5 million soon… for getting fired.
Joe Price is also making millions… for getting fired.
Sallie and Joe are executives who just got fired from Bank of America. They are set to collect over $10 million as part of their severance packages. Meanwhile, Bank of America is going to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. It's also laying off thousands upon thousands of workers.
It's a crazy situation. The big banks took billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts… And now, they're paying fired employees millions and millions of dollars.
Sallie and Joe are two of the latest targets of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters. But you don't have to go to Wall Street to protest Bank of America and its paid-for friends in Washington D.C. You can opt out of the system with a simple move I've been telling people to make for years now…
Move your money to a credit union.
You've probably heard of a credit union. But if you're like most folks I've talked with, you figure there's no real difference between them and a big, name-brand bank… at least not to you, the small, private account holder. But they are different. And at times like this, the benefits of joining a credit union are important.
Very simply, credit unions are nonprofit companies that act as local community banks. And guess what? The rates credit unions offer are spectacular. I get 1.25% on my simple checking account and 1.25% on my basic savings account.
And the nice part is, Wall Street doesn't have access to my money anymore. You see, the credit union turns around and loans my money to other members. Rather than investing in insider shell games, like mortgage-backed securities, the credit union's bread and butter is car, boat, and housing loans that charge 5%-8%.
That's how they make money to pay their employees and rent. They borrow from depositors at 2% and get 5%-8% from their lending. Unlike Wall Street, the board members meet locally in a credit union conference room, not on some island resort, spending the shareholders money. Even better, the board members are usually volunteers. Is this sounding good or what?
Are there any risks? Not really. Your money is as safe as – if not safer than – it is in the larger commercial banks. Just like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is supposed to insure your deposits in a commercial bank, credit unions have the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This fund is backed by the "full faith and credit of the United States government," too. Just like commercial banks, each individual is insured up to $250,000.
The only catch is, to join a credit union you have to – by law – have some sort of affiliation with the group that sponsors it. For some credit unions, you have to work for particular employers. But in other cases, you need only be a resident of a particular state. For example, if you live in Florida or California, you can join any number of credit unions. And several pay more than seven times as much as the big banks for your checking and savings business.
My dad was a state employee in North Carolina, which qualified me to join. To find out more about joining a credit union and research if you're eligible to join one, go to www.findacreditunion.com.
The way I see it, by banking with a local credit union, I'm giving my capital to local people and businesses, instead of the huge Wall Street firms that steal my taxes, pay their cronies big fat bonuses and severance packages.
Wall Street bailouts were supposed to revive the economy by producing money in the form of loans to all sectors and industries. Of course, we know that was a load of bull. Instead, the big money-center banks hoarded those dollars and used them to plug holes in their balance sheets.
But putting your money with local credit unions will help stimulate your local economy in the way banks should operate. These institutions don't keep plush offices or send their board members on luxury vacations. They exist solely to turn deposits into small business loans, home mortgages, and car loans.
If you take your money away from Wall Street and keep it local, you'll support small business ventures near you. I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay for any more golf trips, big bonuses, or million-dollar office decorations.
Together, let's stop the fraud of Wall Street and support our local community banks and credit unions.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,