The Move Your Money project is a campaign that aims to empower individuals and institutions to divest from the nation's 'Too Big To Fail' Wall Street banks that wreaked havoc on our economy and created the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and move their money to local financial institutions like small community banks and credit unions.
What started out as a Christmas dinner conversation between Arianna Huffington and a few friends, became an overnight sensation, with coverage in more than 150 media outlets and millions of unique visitors to our website and social media sites. People became enamored with the idea of taking action into their own hands by personally moving their checking and savings accounts from Wall Street banks that were largely responsible for the financial crisis, and into small community banks and credit unions.
We are helping nurture a more diverse, competitive, responsible and community-oriented banking system by promoting local financial institutitons, which are generally more willing to reach out to customers, offer lower interest rates and fewer fees and lend to businesses (the primary engine of job growth) at significantly higher rates. All the while, we are encouraging consumers to vote with their dollars by no longer supporting 'Too Big To Fail' banks, who through gross negligence, fraud and greed, wreaked havoc on our financial system, propelled our economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression and resulted in the American taxpayers footing a $700 billion bailout.
Now a year and a half since we launched our campaign, over 4 million accounts have moved from the nation's largest Wall Street banks according to Moebs Services, an economic research firm in Lake Bluff, IL, with an additional 12 million predicted to do so in the next two years. This mass-exodus from the big banks is by no means accidental and shows the overwhelming, yet untapped energy of the American populace who have grown disillusioned in the face of a government that was unwilling or unable to enact true, meaningful financial reform. Our campaign is the only effort that has given people something concrete to do: Move Your Money.
Our message has not only lead to millions moving their accounts from the 'Too Big To Fail' banks, but has inspired local and state governments to take a stand against Wall Street in defense of main street. Recently, Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman announced a "Move Money" initative that will allocate $100 million to go to community banks who in turn must loan money out to small local businesses. This follows the previous Treasurer who pledged to divest $243 million out of Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo. Also in Massachusetts, John O'Brien, head of the Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds, has asked State Treasurer Grossman to move the county's $50 million operating budget out of Bank of America and into local community banks to protest their involvement in the recent MERS scandal that has defrauded local government of millions in mortgage transfer fees. In 2010, the city of Los Angeles passed an ordinance that ties the bank's involvement in the community such as number of mortgage modifications and loans to small businesses to contracts for the City's operating funds and pension programs worth up to $28 billion dollars. The Village of Hempstead in New York closed its accounts with JP Morgan Chase and New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams recently stormed a local Chase branch and closed his personal account; both actions were made to highlight the banks dismal record of home loan modifications, particularly in minority areas. Our movement has also encouraged state legislators to propose bills in New Mexico and Maryland to move state operating funds and pension accounts to local fiancial institutions. View our Success Stories page to see a more updated list of actions being taken across the nation.
In our short existence we’ve had some amazing success, but this is only the beginning. We started out as an all-volunteer operation, but as the idea has taken off we’ve realized the need to grow. We are now organized as a nonprofit and are raising money to help hire a few staffers and give them the support they need. If you can, please consider making a donation below.
Thanks for stopping by. We hope this idea will continue to spread in a thousand different ways.