Moving your money to a locally-owned bank or credit union is a smart move. In fact, most people (and businesses) will save money by going local!

Shifting personal, business and institutional bank accounts (including your town’s or city’s) to local *CFIs is a great way to:

   Build wealth locally instead of exporting it to Wall St.

   Expand opportunities for local entrepreneurs and create more local jobs (see “Reason #2” graph below)

   Keep decision-making power in your community. When absentee-owned corporations have your money, they wield unaccountable power over you and your community.

Also consider using a CFI for loans and credit cards since you will often find better terms!

*Note: The term CFI (community financial institution) is used throughout this page to include both community banks and credit unions.

   Bank Local
This online database lets you easily look up the banks with branches in your area and see their performance on values such as local ownership, community reinvestment, small business support and more.

   Learn the market share of banks in your area
This Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) allows you to track shifts in your area over time, which will yield valuable data for “Move Your Money” campaigns.

   The FDIC Community Banking Study
This data-driven effort to identify and explore issues and questions about community banks.

   Credit Union Locator
This lets you easily locate a credit union in your area.

   Independent Community Bankers of America and their Too Big to Fail page highlight why a less concentrated and more diverse financial system will decrease systemic risk, improve competition and innovation, and increase the availability of consumer credit.

   Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

   Community Development Bankers Association Community development banks focus on providing credit to low- and moderate-income communities.

   National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions CDCUs specialize in serving populations with limited access to safe financial services, including low-income wage earners, recent immigrants, and people with disabilities.

   Minority-owned Depository Institutions 

   Black-owned Banks

Be aware that many lists of black-owned banks do not distinguish between various ownership models. A bank with publicly-traded stock may be majority black-owned, but anyone can buy stock, so ownership and control may change over time.

In North Dakota, a multi-state oil pipeline under construction by Energy Transfer Partners and other corporations has sparked widespread objections and provoked discussions about Native Americans’ water and land rights, racial justice, whether fossil fuels should exported and police use of force. One question that has received less attention: who is funding the pipeline?

Thanks to reporting by Food and Water Watch, we know which financial institutions are bankrolling the pipeline, and the project cannot happen without their backing. We know many people want to express their opposition to the process of this pipeline, so if you, your business/organization or local government does business with one of these corporations engaged in retail banking, there’s one more reason to Go Local with your banking!

Also, Yes! Magazine, has gathered the contact information for the financial institutions funding the pipeline if you wish to let them know your opinion directly.

   Locavesting, the website of author and writer Amy Cortese, provides a wealth of news and resources about diverting investment from Wall Street to your Main Street.

   “Local Dollars, Local Sense,”  author Michael Shuman AMIBA webinar on driving local investment.

 

TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER...

You can build powerful alliances by helping shift the bank accounts of your city, schools or other local institutions!