Banking and Investment

DILEMMA_BANKS

When you give your money to a bank or investment firm, you expect that it will be used to generate a high rate of return without harming the environment, fellow citizens, or even yourself. However, “mega-banks” routinely engage in practices that fail to serve you and the public interest, which may include:[1]

  • charging an unfair interest rate, particularly for low income families
  • making high risk investments (e.g., sub-prime mortgages) that may result in a massive loss of wealth and the need to use public funding for bank bailouts[2]
  • financing manufacturers of weapons of indiscriminate destruction, such as cluster bombs
  • financing companies operating in countries with totalitarian regimes
  • financing companies that violate human rights
  • financing companies that have negative impacts on the environment[3]: The figure below shows that mega-banks continue to invest in coal-fired power and/or coal mining operations.

 

bank data II

 

Take Action

1. Keep your savings and checking accounts in credit unions or community development banks.

2. Use credit cards that generate donations for progressive causes.

3. Invest in socially-responsible mutual funds.