On Wednesday, PACT and Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church announced that they were withdrawing up to $4 million from their long-time banks and transferring those funds to local credit unions.
Father Eduardo Samaniego announced that the parish is moving its $3 million account with Bank of America, where the church has done business for at least 20 years, to a community credit union.
See this Mercury News story:
Three million from one church and church school! You can bet that Bank of America will feel that!
And it wasn't just the church.
PACT also said it would be moving more than $1 million out of Wells Fargo Bank.
"We stand in solidarity with thousands of families in San Jose and millions in our nation who have been unfairly forced out of their homes,'' PACT co-chair David Gonzales told a few dozen followers sitting in the church's pews. "We say to Wells Fargo, "No more foreclosures. You will not have our money anymore.''
Peggy Bryan, an associate pastor at Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church in Saratoga, echoed that sentiment from the church's altar, saying she was ending her 15-year-long relationship with Wells Fargo and taking her $150,000 in savings to a local credit union.
"We're saying, "Not one more home stolen from our community by any bank,''' said Bryan, 60, who added that she was acting as a private citizen, and not representing her church.
(Father Samaniego) pointed to his 7,200 parishoners -- 95 percent of whom are immigrant Vietnamese, Latino or Samoan, among the worst affected since the Wall Street meltdown in 2008, he said. In three zip codes in the church's area, he said, one out of nine homes have been foreclosed on since 2008.
"I'm one church and just one part of the diocese,'' Samaniego said afterwards. "So if our other churches can make this kind of move, we can show that enough is enough.''
I think this is just the beginning. Congratulations to those who took this action yesterday. Let's hope that many more follow!
We will be contacting the priest who married us and asking if he, too, will be moving any funds he might have in large national banks to a local credit union or bank. I know that Fr. Jon is a member and strong supporter of PACT, so am hopeful he will move his money.
We will also be in contact with officials at Santa Clara University, where we attend services at Mission Santa Clara, to see if they can divest any such funds.
How about you? Who will move money from a large, unfeeling, national bank to a smaller, local credit union or local bank?
Following are some links mentioned in the comments. These can provide more information and help you decide just exactly where to move your money, should you decide to do that.
Do you need more information on credit unions? Look at the National Credit Union Administration.
Need help finding a credit union? Look at Find a Credit Union.
Here is another site to help you find a credit union.
Need to double-check and make sure that your proposed new bank or credit union is not pouring money to politicians you can't stand? Check out Open Secrets.
November 5 is Bank Transfer Day. For more information, see Move Your Money.
Frustrated1 wrote about Bank Transfer Day on Monday.