Big Banks Not Winning Any Popularity Contests

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Its easy to hate banks. From the vicious and predatory Mr. Potter in Its a Wonderful Life to the detached George Banks in Mary Poppins, bankers in TV and movies regularly play the role of cold, calculating penny-pincher who cares more about profit than people. Or the community. Or the environment. Or anything, really.

There’s been a lot in the news over the past couple of days about the public’s relationship to banks, and especially the big banks. I thought I’d take a moment share some of the highlights.

An article in a New York Times blog today talks about a report by Forrester Research. Apparently, Forrester asked nearly 4,500 bank customers the question, “my financial provider does what’s best for me, not just its own bottom line” and then ranked nearly 50 financial institutions on the percentage of its customers that agreed. The big findings? People trust the largest financial institutions least. The banks who ranked worst in this report were, Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, TD/Commerce, Fifth Third, Citibank, and in last place, HSBC.

Also, the Move Your Money project seems to really be taking off. They’ve got a Facebook group with a ton of followers, lots of news coverage, and a pretty radical message about taking money out of the biggest financial institutions and moving it to credit unions and community banks. They’ve even got this great web video:

[youtube Icqrx0OimSs]

RAN is running a campaign demanding that JP Morgan Chase stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining and shift their financing from the coal industry to renewable energy. Support our campaign by donating to RAN or joining our online action campaigns. Coincidentally, another banker in the news this week was Chase’s own CEO, Jamie Dimon. Turns out that while his company is financing destruction in Appalachia, he is getting paid a $16 million bonus for 2009.