Fighting Back

Big Banks take a hit as Move Your Money campaign gains momentum

by Bryan Farrell, WNV

The Move Your Money campaign started earlier this year seems to have gained some serious momentum. According to John Zogby, writing for Forbes:

Fourteen percent of all adults said that in the past year they have actually moved some of their banking from a large national bank to a community bank or credit union. We asked them why they moved their banking and listed several possible reasons. They could choose more than one reason. Based on that question, we found that 9% of all U.S. adults have taken some of their business away from big banks as a protest.

While this seems pretty encouraging, Zogby also noted that it’s hard to tell what effect the protest is having on the banks, as well as whether more people will get involved. But both sides of the political spectrum are taking part.

Our survey found Democrats more likely to be interested in moving their money out of big banks, but one-quarter of Republicans have also considered doing the same.

For Zogby, the ultimate question is whether this “big bank backlash” will force the Obama administration and Congress to reform the nation’s banking and finance. He isn’t holding out hope.

Bank reform is a much more an inside game with rules that are even more complex than those of health care. That, and the campaign contributions of bankers, gives the financial industry much more ability than any of the players in healthcare reform to shape legislation. Congressional challengers will hammer incumbents who voted for the bailouts, but their election won’t likely change how banks and Washington relate.

But he closes on this encouraging thought:

If enough Americans are serious about making big banks more accountable, they will need to do it themselves by taking their business elsewhere.

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