No, November 5th is not a Federal or a State voting day but it is an “Election” day on a national level – a day that has been suggested for all Americans who currently bank with one of the four behemoth banking corporations to make an “election” to move their money to either a State Bank or a Credit Union.
The four behemoth national banking corporations who have been designated as “too big to fail” are Bank of America (BofA), Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and JPMorgan. I am sure there are probably a few more, but these are the four that are currently in the public eye and drawing the most ire from the public.
There are a group of grass roots activests who are recommending that Americans stand up to big banking in an effort to let them know Americans are sick and tired of high fees such as overdraft fees, hidden excess charges and extremely high credit card rates.
This grass roots effort is intended to generate a big “sucking sound” on November 5th when millions or possibly billions of dollars is legitimally withdrawn from banks by millions of Americans.
I do not believe Americans, in general, are against banks and other corporations making reasonable profits – but they are opposed to banks taking advantage of their customers through high charges and fees to increase profits.
Last year, banks made $24 billion dollars in overdraft fees. These fees are generally assessed against those who can least affort to pay them. True, bounced checks happen to middle or low income Americans disproportionally more frequently than rich Americans.
When a check bounces belonging to a well off American, that person frequently has overdraft protection tied to a second account where funds are available to back up the check before it actually bounces.
Fees for bounced checks have been increasing at an alarming rate.
It is true that average Americans should not write checks when they know in advance that these checks probably will bounce – in fact, it is irresponsible of them to do so.
When an individual writes a check, knowing full well it will bounce, everyone will say that person is stupid. They sometimes play the float game – hoping that a pay check or other kind of deposit gets posted before the check does but many times that does not happen.
Enough about that. Lets get back to these unfair and excessive fees.
All of these fees and charges have increased for one purpose – to increase the bottom line of large banks. On a side note, some of these fees are hidden in the small print or buried in lengthly documents a customer usually initials and signs without reading or thinking.
A good part of the increased profits generated by all these fees and charges get paid out in dividends to shareholders. These shareholders also usually see an increase in the stock price.
The only losers in this process are the customers who are being ripped off.
So, what is one to do? Stand up collectively and fight back with your signature on withdrawal forms and account cancellation forms – and do it this Saturday, if possible.
Why Saturday? Because it will show the individual and collective power of Americans from coast to coast in an effort to show solidarity.
So, circle your calendar, clear your schedule, and make plans to move your money – ideally on Saturday, November 5, 2011.
If you cannot do it then, then do it before Saturday, if possible. If not before, then make a commitment to do it as early as possible next week.
Banks, like all other corporations, run numerous daily reports showing new accounts, cancelled accounts, deposits, withdrawals, and customer activity.
A strong showing by Americans across the country will show now only banks, but all corporations – utility companies, entertainment companies, retailers, and others that Americans across the country are sick and tired of being taken advantage of in the name of stockholders. Stockholders might “own” these corporations, but it is customers who make the deposits and buy the products and when customers revolt, large bonuses and dividend payouts will decrease.
I am sure that many reading this remember the movie “Network” where people stuck their heads out their windows and yelled “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore”.
That movie was made 35 years ago and it is now time for people to walk into their banks and repeat that line while they are withdrawing their money. Don’t be afraid to quietly say those words to your teller or a bank manager. You do not have to make a scene, just let them know you are standing up to unscrupulous business practices.
Again, November 5th, your time has come – so be there!