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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:57 AM
Original message
A Semi-Contrarian View on Bank Transfer Day
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 12:36 PM by coalition_unwilling
My wife and I have held off on closing our checking and savings accounts with Wells Fargo for the time being. Our reason is fairly simple: the people who staff the branches of the WF branches are, for the most part, members of the 99%. And if Bank Transfer Day achieves its desired effect, those members of the working class would face massive layoffs. In a political climate where the Repukes hold unemployment insurance hostage, we simply do not want to take any actions that may threaten the interests of workers -- many of whom are getting by paycheck to paycheck -- or the working class, just so we can stick a shiv in the backs of rich shareholders of the bank.

My wife and I are open to being convinced, though. Is there some factor we have failed to take into consideration? Does fucking over a bank's shareholders serve the interests of the working class?

N.B. WF sent me an email saying it was going to start charging $15/month for any checking account that maintained less than $7500 balance. However, in checking with them, it appears WF waives the fee if you have some sort of direct deposit or automatic transfer from checking to savings. So personal economy may still push us over the edge. But Bank Transfer Day on its own terms has left me decidedly ambivalent.

Edit to remove redundant question and add clarity.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've been doing research while I've been recovering
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 12:05 PM by Warpy
from the latest eye surgery and have settled on a local bank rather than a credit union. However, to say BoA will notice my money moving is an understatement. I'm moving my entire medical emergency/house overseas funds. The bank is a better idea because the branches are closer, there are no "guest" ATM fees, and they'll do wireless transfers overseas if I need them. They were solvent enough to turn down TARP funds. They have no investment bank.

I'll be keeping that account for wireless deposits but will be moving the money out when it starts to accumulate.

I'm moving my money because that stunt of moving trillions of dollars of Merrill Lynch liabilities into the FDIC insured bank has me voting no confidence on them.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Oh yeah, Skank of America really stinks, no doubt about it. But it's
not the fault of the tellers or even the bank managers. I'm terribly conflicted as I want to observe group solidarity with OWS but also don't want to hurt working people.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I've been with Skank of America for 3 years. Moving on now to a credit union. nt
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
38. They'll still be getting my monthly deposit checks
but they won't be using the sizable bundle that's accumulated over the last 5 years on their balance sheet.

I wouldn't have bothered but this vicious move of theirs with the Merril Lynch toxic assets was too much. I have no confidence in them.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. There will still be the same number of accounts that will require people to manage them..
I don't see a net loss of jobs from BTD..
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. OK. But even a temporary disruption of income for some workers can
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 12:09 PM by coalition_unwilling
produce significant dislocations in their lives. Or is that excessive concern? As you can probly tell, my wife and I have been feeling terribly conflicted recently.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. You can't do just one thing..
Everything you do has ramifications beyond the act itself, most of which are unknown unknowns. h/t Rumsferatu

In terms of Newtonian physics you could say that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, if you walk in one direction you push the entire world minutely in the other direction.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. Maybe the truth is that the future of banking is less bricks and mortar.
Bank transfer day will simply expedite the process and perhaps give a reason to do so. I wouldn't doubt that less assets per branch will lead to closings and layoffs. With that trend, I don't see credit unions adding more branches to make up the difference.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. here's my quandry
My kid goes to school half-way across the country - having a location for him there and here is important. We have a "joint account" so I can move money easily into his account. . .

The problem with CU's is they're all local. Been mulling this over because I definitely want to move my money OUT. Maybe I keep a token account at the bank along with his? And move everything else? Any ideas anyone?

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Definitely a special cricumstance and one I'm not qualified to speak to. But
possibly your local CU would allow you to do bank wires to your child's account for low- or no cost?
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prairierose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. mzteris, my credit union and many others belong to a CU shared..
branch network. When I go to AZ to visit my folks, I can walk into a credit union there and withdraw cash, deposit funds or move money from any of my accounts and I can use their ATMs with no charge because they are part of the network. Check with NCUA to see if your local credit union is a member and if any credit unions belong where you kid goes to school. Chances are that both your local and a CU where he goes to school belong.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. i was going to say much the same...
it was something that kept me from making the move until just recently. Being able to transfer to my kids was a requirement of mine. My credit union belongs to the nationwide (well, 45 states, i think) network. We are able to use SUM and CO-OP marked machines and do everything via the web and telephone banking that we were able to do with BoA. No difference... ATMs all over. Check with your local small bank or credit union. I think all credit unions can use those SUM and CO-OP machines (located at small banks and credit unions, 7-11s, and other places).
I'm pleased with the switch.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
35. thank you.
I didn't realize that.

I will check into this next week!
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. I have accts. at several banks/CU's
I have them all linked up to an online acct. with American Express (a savings acct. that pays 1%). I can move funds from one place to the next via this account (they allow I believe it is 6 transfers out a month at no charge which I never come close to doing) and it costs me nothing being I don't use it that much. You might consider such an option. It works quite well for me and I rarely have to leave the house and I am getting 1% on my savings acct. which is difficult to find anywhere these days.

As for the FDIC bank acct. -- I have one of them with not much in it. I keep it open for one reason -- to reap the benefits that come with the acct. which is free traveler's checks and it actually pays. .1% on it which is ok for a checking acct. with next to nothing in it. :D

I hate Bank of America. The last words I had to say to them were in 2002 and they were, "I hope you go broke."

:dem:

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Snotcicles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
22.  "The problem with CU's is they're all local" Most of them belong to co-op network.
co-op network kind of links them together.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. Is it possible that if credit unions grow, they will need lots more employees?
I'm thinking.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. And where I live...
credit union tellers make almost double what regular bank tellers make.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. It might be better for the tellers. Banks are thieves, even with their employees
I wouldn't trust a bank as far as I could throw it.
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Johnson20 Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
30. True. Maybe they will be able
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 01:29 PM by Johnson20
to hire some of the bank tellers/clerks etc that might be laid off? Or if ingac is right maybe half of them.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #30
45. Or maybe credit unions are not such thiefs as the banks are and will be able to pay a living wage...
while getting the credit union's work done.
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Firebrand Gary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. I get where you are coming from.
My best advice would be to review Wells Fargo's average rate of retention and see if you can find data on how Wells pays their employees. When I closed my accounts at Well's two weeks ago I told the brach manager and two of the tellers that I would be willing to write them a letter of recommendation. They all three took me up on it.

Friday I received a facebook friend request from one of the tellers. She accompanied it with a thank you email. Apparently she is interviewing with Golden One Credit Union next week.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. She'll definitely get a better wage with a credit union. n/t
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. Awesome advice and kindness on your part. Will share with my wife
later today.

That's the other aspect: we use a WF branch across the street from where we live and the folks there are all so friendly it doesn't feel like some evil corporate monster. So I may offer the letters of rec, if we decide to close and go to a local bank or CU.

Thanks for the advice and insight.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
14. This reminds me of the Occupy protest sign...
"The system isn't broken, it was designed this way."

Put quite simply, the system is rigged so we can't hurt the system without hurting ourselves. In war, and this is a war we've been losing, casualties are a part of fighting the battle.

It's like the stock market. How can Wall Street be doing so well when Main Street is doing so badly? They are disconnected. Its success is built on the practices that hurt people--speculation, downsizing, offshoring jobs... However, with many of the survivors of the 2008 Meltdown invested in the stock market, it gives them a vested interest in the status quo, and it deters them from reforming a corrupt economic system that is still serving their own interests, if not the interests of masses.

Move your money to the small banks and the jobs will follow it.
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. We call it, "changing hats".
The "job" doesn't disappear, it just changes who benefits from the profits. Moving to a local CU means they still keep a job and profits stay local which benefits everyone in the community.
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firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
18. I disagree: "the people who staff the branches would face layoffs"
I just don't agree with this assumption.

Large Banks like Chase and Wells Fargo have SOOOO much money invested in them. "Our 99%" personal accounts is a miniscule drop in the bucket for all their investments. On top of that, the local Chase and Wells Fargo have leased their brick and mortor franchise stores. It's not like they are going to cave in on their leases and fire their staff. Even if they lost 1/10th of the personal accounts they had last week, they still have a lot of business to attend to.

The closing of the accounts en masse is an important symbolic message meaning that the message is more symbolic than the financial losses they actually accrue.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
43. Actually the banks make billions on all those extra charges they have
Late fee, unnamed 'service' fees, interest rates going up for being one day late, and the fees they charge merchants when customers use their debit cards. They make billions doing this. So maybe our little accounts aren't much, but the cumulative penalty fees are.
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firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. agree with that - former Wall Street bank temp
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 05:32 PM by firehorse
I temped for all the big banks for 7 years after college when I moved to NYC... Chemical before it got swallowed, Chase, Citibank, etc. Within the bank itself, there are so many sub divisions of businesses that make billions. Personal accounts is just one of many ways they make money.

BTW, I agree with moving money to a community bank. I moved my business account to the same little community bank that the OWS has their money in, but I shifted last January. I hate the big banks... to me, they are verging on a monopoly especially since the big 4 swallowed the other 30 major banks.

I'd be fine if community banks took up all the small businesses and personal accounts. Let the big banks keep their corporate accounts, foreign investments, etc.
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canoeist52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
20. Well, I wouldn't shop at Walmart and other big box stores...
just to keep the workers there off of unemployment.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
24. Don't lose sight of the big picture and necessary goals
This isn't just about sticking a shiv in the backs of banks. This is a life and death struggle against Oligarchy and Plutocracy having all the wealth and the power. You're well-meaning hesitation to save a few jobs. albeit something we all need to think about, will guarantee that the big banks will continue to hurt many millions more. The Achilles heal of banks is money, so that's what we need to focus on.

The other day someone said on DU that teachers first job is to take care of the students, implying that they're being selfish when they're not in the classroom. The fact of the matter is the teacher is actually doing more for her/his students by showing up at the Occupy demonstrations.

The hard question to ask yourself is what is best for everyone. Saving a few underpaid jobs or changing the culture of predation from the 1% and hopefully raising the wages across the board for everyone. Revolution isn't easy. Changing things isn't comfortable and shouldn't be easy.

Anyway I hope I made a good argument.




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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. You certainly did.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. yes, well said. -eom
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
26. So I feel sorry for the lonely BoA branch office in my town.
It wan't their fault. They were once Baybanks or Fleet or one of the other regional banks that got absorbed into the BoA Constrictor. I too am conflicted about yanking my accounts out of there - I know the people who work there, they are nice people, this is their job, and they have always done it right by me. It is going to be difficult for me too - all those ATMs sure are convenient. But I think it is the right thing to do. Plus I am convinced that this office will go all machine within the next few weeks as BoA does its next round of cost-cutting. That will end the conflict.
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
27. I am a former Wells Fargo agent.
I was a supervisor in their credit card division. This was in the mid-nineties.

This corporation is so rotten to their customers that I threw up every morning before I went to work. I could not wait to get out, and was desperately seeking a new job just six months after I was hired.

They had takeover fever. They screwed their credit card holders in every way possible. Fees, co-branding shit selling useless insurance, raising interest rates to 29% for payments a day late (this was sold to us as "repricing"), and paying their employees like crap.

Half my customer service agents were temps. Because it was cheaper to utilize them than hire them full-time and provide benefits.

They forced every single employee to open a Wells Fargo account so they could direct deposit their paychecks into their own fucking bank.

When I quit, they actually emptied my WF checking account and debited out my last paycheck.

Whenever there was a customer problem, which I was supposed to be able to solve, it was nearly impossible to find a solution because the bank is so huge and has so many silos ('departments') in different states, so even if I thought I could help a customer who had been unfairly charged, there was no way.

Management had no clue how to treat their employees, unless you consider being treated like shit and being fearful the norm.

On behalf of all the 99%'ers who work for Wells Fargo, I beseech you to transfer your money from these blood-sucking leeches to a credit union. Then they can expand and hire the good, long suffering employees from Wells Fargo (yeah, they'll lay off employees anyway) and have decent jobs helping people in their local communities instead of these parasites on Wall Street.

Run that stagecoach out of town.

Thanks for an opportunity to vent about the worst employer I've ever had.

Seriously, get out of that evil place. Now.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. Steve, that's a great response and an eye-opener for sure. Thanks - n/t
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. a big WOW
Thanks for sharing your experience with these greedy pigs.

I'm glad you managed to get the hell out of there! It was killing you no doubt.

I hope you found a better job (which probably wouldn't be too difficult considering ...).

My god what horrible freaks Wells Fargo has become.

So much for the stagecoaches, etc. All a bunch of B.S.

:dem:
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RegieRocker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
29. Look, they then can get a job at a credit union, a better place to work for.
Carriage makers hated the car until the acquired a job at fisher body making a lot more money. In order for things to get better things have to change. Change banks.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. you are so right!
The credit union I bank it has many employees and many of the newer ones were working for GMAC/Ally bank. I was advised they are MUCH happier working for my credit union. :)

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
34. Don't mean to end discussion of this by any means, but I wanted
to say a hearty 'thank you' to all who have contributed thus far. My wife and I have located a small community bank (FDIC insured but locally owned) in Inglewood that we think serves the local community far better than WF. Still checking into CUs in our locale. But am feeling a lot more sanguine now about closing out of WF.

Thanks again, everyone.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. you can search here
http://banktracker.investigativereportingworkshop.org/banks/

Excellent site btw. Best of luck to you both. :)

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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
37. Banks loose jobs and credit unions gain jobs ....it evens out.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. Yep.
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RickFromMN Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
39. I will go out on a limb and say I expect the big banks to close all their branches anyway.

I assume it's expensive having brick buildings and employees in those branches.

It's expensive having small checking and savings accounts.
They have to mail us our statements, for which they are now charging us.
They have to deal with us, and dealing with us is not a good return on investment.

The return on investment is much greater buying/selling those CDOs and other
instruments I can't begin to understand...but what I do understand...when
those things make money the banks take the gains in the name of capitalism
but give us, the taxpayers, the losses, by claiming they are too big to fail.

The big banks will focus on "big deposits" and "big loans" with large corporations.

As long as they can get their hands on our mortgages so they can package them
in those CDOs or whatever instruments they gamble with, they are happy.
They don't want to keep our mortgage loans.

The big banks only need a corporate headquarters in a taxhaven location.

They need a large branch in each world money center like London, New York,
Tokyo, Hong Kong. Maybe I'm wrong and they don't even need these branches.

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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Banks have a lot of branches in poor locations that were a political precondition to mergers
During the mergers over the last couple of decades, banks were often forced by the politicians and advocacy groups to keep branches open even when they were redundant or to open branches in areas where the business did not support profitable branches.

If this movement of accounts out of the big banks is successful, they should be able to close down many of their worst performing branches.

The major banks have very good accounting systems that evaluate relationship profitability customer-by-customer and branch profitability branch-by-branch.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
40. I don't get the assumption that inaction does less harm than action.
On what basis do you estimate that less harm will be done over time to the 99% propping up these fiscal monstrosities than maintaining them because of the people that work for them? Especially when you are simply reallocating versus shrinking the pie. The jobs lost from the too big to fail zombies will simply be re-distributed to smaller institutions since the local banks and credit unions will have to adjust to greater volume and traffic.

What is it about the status quo that people want to say does less net harm than maintaining it in all kinds of conversations?
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
41. When deciding between credit unions a few years ago, I noticed one I considered
had received the APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award.

Knowing a workplace treats its workers well and that they feel they have an important role there was a strong factor for me in selecting it.



That clearly was not the case with the bank I moved from, which was soon swallowed by Chase.
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