Tag Archives: Banks

Bank of America: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

The latest BofA ad….

My friend Kirk sent this to me and I thought it was cute, fun, accurate and worth sharing…

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Margin Call

I’m going to make a point to see this soon….

Inspired by true events (think Bear Sterns? Merrill Lynch?)  and with an all-star cast including Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Penn Badley, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker….

It was also just named “Best First Feature” by the New York Film Critics…

I’ll let you know more once I see it….

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Filed under Occupy Wall Street, Politics, The Economy

Bank Of America Charges Debit Fees for Unemployment Benefits Debit Cards

This is just disgusting….

I can’t say this often enough:  If States, Federal and Local Governments are going to contract with these banks to manage Government Benefits, these contracts should specify that these banks cannot charge these poor people fees to use the benefits.

This is robbery of the poor and most vulnerable by the rich, politically powerful, government bailed-out banks who assume these people don’t have the power to fight back.

B of A already gets a percentage of each charge from the merchant.  That’s fine as that’s how the credit/debit card system is meant to work.  The cost is- or should be- built into consumer  pricing….

These additional fees are at the very least immoral and should be illegal.

I’ll say it again:  Bank of America is just plain evil….

From the Huffington Post:

Bank of America recently aborted plans to charge ordinary banking customers $5 a month to use their debit cards in the face of national outrage. But the bank has quietly continued to mine another source of fees: jobless people who depend upon the bank’s prepaid debit cards to tap their benefits. Bank of America and other financial firms — including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase — have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits in 41 states. These contracts typically allow banks to collect unlimited fees from merchants and consumers.

In short, the same banks whose speculation delivered a financial crisis that has destroyed millions of jobs have figured out how to turn widespread unemployment into a profit center: The larger the number of people who are out of work and dependent upon the state for sustenance, the greater the potential gains through administering their benefits.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, a Columbia nonprofit that represents low-income people facing foreclosure, food insecurity and other problems. “It should not cost you any more to use a debit card than if they had issued you a check.”

For the state, handing Bank of America responsibility for unemployment benefits secured cost savings, said Berkowitz, but they have come at vulnerable people’s expense.

via For Bank Of America, Debit Fees Extend To Unemployment Benefits.

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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests

Brilliant article in “Rolling Stone” by Matt Taibbi.  Finally, someone truly both gets and can articulate the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here is a very brief excerpt and a link to the full article.  I strongly encourage you to click the link and read the entire article.

It’s not very long, so don’t be afraid….


…Occupy Wall Street was always about something much bigger than a movement against big banks and modern finance. It’s about providing a forum for people to show how tired they are not just of Wall Street, but everything. This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of the entire direction of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become. If there is such a thing as going on strike from one’s own culture, this is it. And by being so broad in scope and so elemental in its motivation, it’s flown over the heads of many on both the right and the left.

via How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests | Politics News | Rolling Stone.


Filed under Occupy Wall Street, Politics

650,000 Americans Joined Credit Unions Last Month — More Than In All Of 2010 Combined

This is great news!  As a happy Credit Union Member for over 20 years, all I can say is welcome!  You will be very happy here.

I’ve said it again and again:  I don’t understand why anyone wants to bank with the big national banks.  They will screw you on fees and treat you like dirt.  Take your money to a Credit Union where you are one of the owners helping other owners and community members.

From ThinkProgress.org:

One of the tactics the 99 Percenters are using to take back the country from the 1 percent is to move their money from big banks to credit unions, community banks, and other smaller financial unions that aren’t gambling with our nation’s future.

Now, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that a whopping 650,000 Americans have joined credit unions since Sept. 29 — the date that Bank of America announced it would start charging a $5 monthly debit fee, a move it backed down on this week.

To put that in perspective, there were only 600,000 new members for credit unions in all of 2010. “These results indicate that consumers are clearly making a smarter choice by moving to credit unions where, on average, they will save about $70 a year in fewer or no fees, lower rates on loans and higher return on savings,” said CUNA President Bill Cheney.

This Saturday, 99 Percenters are calling on Americans to move their money from big banks to credit unions and community banks on what is being called “Bank Transfer Day.” If you want to stand with the 99 Percent and take part in this action, use the Move Your Money project’s community bank and credit union finder tool to find out how.

via 650,000 Americans Joined Credit Unions Last Month — More Than In All Of 2010 Combined | ThinkProgress.

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Big Banks Extracting Fees On Unemployment Benefits

These big banks are just plain evil….

I was in BB&T last week and saw a sign saying they would charge either $8 or $12 to cash a check drawn on their bank for people without an account of their own.  That should be illegal.

And now I see this?

Evil… just plain evil.

If banks are going to administer Government benefits, they should be required, by contract, not to charge the people receiving the benefits.  They still make money from merchants when debit/credit cards are used and that’s fine.  It’s soaking the beneficiaries, who can least afford it, that is just plain wrong….

Evil…just plain evil.

I don’t know why anyone deals with these banks who doesn’t have to do so.  The rest of us should be moving our money out to Credit Unions or, at the very least, local community banks….

Out of work and living on a $189-a-week unemployment check, Rob Linville needs to watch every penny. Lately, he has been watching too many pennies disappear into the coffers of the bank that administers his unemployment check via a prepaid debit card.

The state of Oregon, where Linville lives, deposits his weekly benefits on a U.S. Bank prepaid debit card. The bank allows him to make four withdrawals per month free of charge. After that, he must pay $1.50 for each visit to the ATM and $3 to see a teller. Managing his basic expenses, including rent, bus fare and groceries, typically requires more than four withdrawals, he says. Unexpected needs — Linville recently bought a sport coat for $20 to prepare for a job interview — entail more. He’s afraid to withdraw his full benefits in one shot, knowing that the bank could sock him with a $17.50 overdraft fee if he exceeds his balance. So he pulls out small amounts of cash as he needs it, incurring about $15 in fees in the last two months he says.

“I’m so broke,” Linville said, his voice expressing resignation that this is simply how the world works. “But I don’t really have any other options.”

Across the nation, people receiving a range of state-furnished benefits — from unemployment insurance and food stamps to cash assistance for poor families — are facing similar options and reaching the same conclusion. In 41 states major banks and financial firms have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits via prepaid debit cards. And banks are increasingly extracting hefty cuts of these funds through an assortment of small fees. U.S. Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other institutions hold contracts to distribute these benefits on prepaid debit cards.

via Banks Extract Fees On Unemployment Benefits.

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Why Credit Unions Are a Better Financial Choice For Us Than Big Banks

I’ve been with a Credit Union for over 20 years and can offer only praise for their services and costs.  I can’t imagine why anyone would chose a bank-especially a big bank- over a Credit Union.

With Credit Unions, you are not just a customer, but part owner.  Rates are better, service is better and even the smallest Credit Unions generally offer all the same services as big Banks.

My advice:  Move your business to a Credit Union today!  It’s not just best for you, it’s better for the economy and the country as a whole…..

From Daily Finance:


With big banks adding new fees or increasing existing fees, credit unions have been able to capitalize on the growing discontent with the financial services behemoths. Bank of Americas BAC $5 debit-card-fee fiasco alone is responsible for 20% to 50% of the new accounts at some credit unions — and new accounts have been growing steadily in recent months.Thats because many credit unions are offering cash back or reward points for debit card usage, not fees. There are other perks, too, to get you to move your business. For example, the Co-op Services Credit Union of Michigan has been successfully offering $105 to those who switch to them from a regular bank.

And credit unions are reaching out to business customers, too. FDIC data has shown bank business lending shrinking over the past year or so, while credit union commercial lending is growing.

Dollars and cents arent the only reason people are moving their money to credit unions. The fundamental setup of the system is vastly different from that at big banks. While a bank is a for-profit business, aiming to maximize earnings for its shareholders, credit unions are nonprofits. While youre simply a customer of a bank, youll be a member of a credit union, owning the whole thing along with your fellow members.

via Why Credit Unions Are a Better Financial Choice For Us Than Big Banks – DailyFinance.


Filed under Occupy Wall Street, The Economy

Quote of the Day: Andy Borowitz

“Bank of America is like a man who’s been saved from a burning building and then kicks the fireman in the nuts.”

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Citigroup To Start Charging Per-Month Fees On Low-Balance Accounts


These big banks are simply evil….

I really don’t understand why anyone would do business with them.

I’m very happy with my local credit union and have been for 20 years.  I get all the same services as a big bank, but pay no fees on any of my accounts.  I really wish people would wise up and stop giving their business to these big banks.  I just don’t understand why anyone would support them…

From The Huffington Post:


Citigroup Inc said it will start charging a monthly fee of $10 on checking and savings accounts with combined balances of less than $1,500, joining a growing list of banks seeking to recoup revenue lost under new financial industry regulations.

The fee will be waived if a customer completes one direct deposit and one online bill payment per month through an account, or maintains a balance of at least $1,500 in checking and savings accounts, Citigroup said on Friday

The change takes effect in December.

Under Citi’s current fee structure, customers are not required to maintain minimum account balances but must complete five transactions a month through an account to avoid a monthly fee of $8.

Citigroup said it will not charge for debit card use or online bill payment.

Stephen Troutner, head of banking products for Citi’s U.S. consumer bank, said free debit card use could woo customers from other banks that are weighing whether to charge for debit card use, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

“Customers have told us in no uncertain terms that is a huge source of irritation,” Troutner said.

New York-based Citi is the latest bank to tinker with its fee structure following changes in U.S. consumer banking regulations and laws over the last two years.

New regulations — part of a broad financial sector reform effort — limit overdraft fees and other penalty fees banks can charge.

In response, many banks have begun introducing monthly service fees for accounts, debit card use and visits to branches.

Bank of America Corp, the largest U.S. bank by assets, added checking account fees last year. The BofA changes include an ebanking account, which allows customers to use ATMs and online banking for free but charges a monthly fee of $7 for teller visits or receiving paper statements.

via Citigroup To Start Charging Per-Month Fees On Low-Balance Accounts.

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