Thursday, December 31, 2009

Move Your Money

Here’s an idea for a new year’s resolution, from a group called Move Your Money: if you have accounts at the major Wall Street banks, close those accounts and move your money to a place where it will be safer and do more good, such as a community bank or credit union.

Personally, I don’t understand why someone would have an account with one of the banking giants. These banks needed and sought government help for exactly the same reason that they are not as safe as the average bank: they do so little that matters to anyone that their customers wouldn’t be interested in bailing them out. If Congress decides not to bail out these banks again the next time they falter, which could happen any day with no warning at all, you’ll have to move your money anyway — so why not move it now?

Community banks, by comparison, are economically important — they make the loans that make the economy run, the loans that the super-large banks have stopped making. Most community banks are not in any financial trouble, but they will be able to make more loans if they have more deposits. There are personal advantages in doing business with a local bank or credit union, if you choose one carefully. The fees you pay could be considerably less. You are less likely to be hit with surprise fees that don’t make any sense. You are also less likely to have accounts canceled or changed around for reasons that no one can explain.

Here’s the Move Your Money movie:

Happy new year!