By Kathy Baruffi
Earlier this year I decided to support the ‘€œMove Your Money’€ campaign by opening an account locally (www.moveyourmoney.info). I chose Provident Bank because the various Rockland County branch locations are convenient for me, checking is free and it is insured by the FDIC. This is a grass roots movement urging people away from the big banks like Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, in favor of community banks.
Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington helped originate the movement and is a powerful promoter of it. She has described it as a ‘€œwithdrawal tax on the big banks for the negative service they provide by consistently ignoring the public interest.’€
The initiative, spurred by the Wall Street financial crisis and bank bailouts, gives people a chance to vote with their pocketbooks. Besides, smaller banks and credit unions tend to be more connected to the communities they are in. It may sound corny but I felt empowered by this simple action. I like knowing that my small effort is part of a bigger one connecting ordinary people into a collective expression of disdain for the financial fiasco that continues to reshape our world.