Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase rank as the top-three financiers of mountaintop-removal coal mining and coal-fired power plants in the US, according to a report by the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and BankTrack. If your organization banks with one of these corporate mega-banks, its money is supporting fossil fuels.(i)
In continuing our series on Divestment from Fossil Fuels (What is Divestment from Fossil Fuels?), Moving Your Money is one aspect of divesting from fossil fuels.
- Your organization should close any accounts it has at Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, or Wells Fargo.
- Your organization should terminate any credit cards it has which are backed by these financial institutions.
- Simultaneously, your organization should publicize what it is doing and why it is doing this.
Alternative institutions for banking functions can be found through the Independent Community Bankers of America.(ii) Or, your organization could help create more loans, job creation, and access to banking services for distressed communities across the U.S. with above-average poverty and unemployment levels, through “mission-Oriented Banks” which are part of the National Community Investment Fund.(iii)
As an individual investor, you personally would have access to credit unions. Most organizations (universities, churches, foundations, etc.) probably do not qualify to participate as credit union members.
Better credit cards are ones where the financial institution which is backing the card is community-oriented, mission-oriented, or environmentally-oriented.(iv)
(i) “Guide to Fossil-Free Investment,” by GreenAmerica http://www.greenamerica.org/PDF/FossilFree.pdf
(ii) Independent Community Bankers of America http://www.icba.org/
(iii) National Community Investment Fund http://www.ncif.org/connect/about-ncif/news-and-announcements/banking-impact-survey-%E2%80%9Cmission-oriented%E2%80%9D-banks-shows-major#.VVoZj3Xd_eR
(iv) Looking for better credit cards: http://directory.breakupwithyourmegabank.org/business-category/credit-cards ; http://onepacificcoastbank.com/SiteContent/Default/Personal%20Green%20America%20Affinity%20Card.aspx ; http://www.salmonnation.com/growsn/snvisa.html