Cities Divesting from Big Banks

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)—March 26, 2012.  From coast to coast, homeowners, clergy, and everyday people are urging their city and town governments to move their money from big banks or pass responsible banking ordinances. They say taxpayer dollars should be removed from big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase and put into financial institutions that will help keep families in their homes and invest in rebuilding neighborhoods. For example:

  • The Los Angeles City Council has directed the city attorney to draft a responsible banking ordinance that gathers foreclosure and small business lending data on the banks that do business with the City. A Council vote is expected by March 28, providing a possible news peg for this story.      
  • Last month, the Kansas City, MO City Council passed a responsible banking resolution which directs the city manager to select banks that are responsive to the community’s needs and do not engage in predatory lending.     
  • In New York City, legislation has been introduced that would require banks to submit a community reinvestment plan and progress reports that will be used by the City’s Banking Commission to rate banks that want to hold City deposits.

Legislation is also being considered in Austin, Boston, the Bay Area (San Francisco / Oakland, CA), Chicago, Minneapolis, San Jose, CA, and Portland, OR.

On March 19, homeowners facing foreclosure persuaded the City of Brockton, MA to move its money out of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and other big banks that refuse to negotiate fair loan modifications. 

This trend is part of a larger movement of individuals, clergy, unions, and other organizations moving their money out of Wall Street banks to more responsive institutions. See, e.g., “Mortgage Crisis Inspires Lenten Season Message to Banks,” New York Times at

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