Claremonters voice displeasure with big bank fees (updated)

More than 50 Claremont residents and members of MoveOn, a grassroots political action group, took to the streets of Claremont’s Village Saturday drumming up support for National Bank Transfer Day. The nation-wide event urged locals to leave behind the country’s commercial banks and reinvest money in local credit unions.

Claremont rally goers joined more than 30 other Southern California chapters of the MoveOn family and hundreds of other organizations nationwide encouraging American consumers to invest in not-for-profit banking groups.

“I am tired of big banks trying to find loopholes that hurt us. Our tax money is being taken away,” said Nick Parra, an organizer of MoveOn’s local chapter. “We are powerless, but together we are powerful.”

Participants flooded the corner of Yale Avenue and Fourth Street in front of Bank of America with signs urging passersby to “Move Your Money…If You Have Any Left.” The group of protesters took their rallying cries to other local big banks Chase and Wells Fargo on Indian Hill Boulevard, passing out fliers along the way with information on local credit unions.

“I want my money to stay in the local community,” said Claremont resident Bob Traer. “Why give to big banks if they are going to risk our money?”

Los Angeles resident Kristen Christian, a former Bank of America customer frustrated with the bank’s “ridiculous fees and poor customer service”, started National Bank Transfer Day. Ms. Christian was upset by large banks, like Bank of America, who wished to charge monthly fees to customers who made debit card purchases. Though big banks have backed off of those plans, many consumers remain concerned and outraged.

“It’s moving in the right direction, but also a little too late. Big banks have not been securing their fair share of the load. This is an attempt to hold these banks accountable,” said Meg Mathies, MoveOn member. “We are part of an overall picture of what is going on all over the country.”


–Beth Hartnett


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