The biggest banks impose much higher fees on their customers than small financial institutions do. This is exactly the opposite of what was promised in 1994 and again in 1999, when Congress dismantled laws that had long restricted the size and scope of banks, ushering in a wave of mergers that left the industry dominated by a few financial giants. … Read More
Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher for ILSR, joins Rick Hoffstetter, the President and CEO of Lighthouse Bank to discuss the national Move Your Money campaign on KALW in San Francisco.
The "Move Your Money" movement calls on people to take their deposits out of the big banks and put them in smaller banks that work at the community level. How much money would have to move to significantly bolster the small banks?
Although small and mid-sized banks control only 22 percent of all bank assets, they account for 54 percent of small business lending. Big banks, meanwhile, allocate relatively little of their resources to small businesses. The largest 20 banks, which now command 57 percent of all bank assets, devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business. … Read More
The latest report from TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky warns, “Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.”… Read More
As we start down the path of breaking up with the big banks and defending our own economic interests and that of our communities, we should think about the whole range of financial services we use. We need to give thought to both the saving and lending sides of a bank. Each is crucial. On the savings side, community-based financial institutions need our deposits much more than the big banks do. But to be profitable community banks need to convert those deposits into loans. … Read More