As the stock market reaches giddy new highs, it’s worth noting that it was just 10 years ago that a mortgage bubble and risky behavior fueled by the nation’s largest banks brought the economy to its knees. That experience—along with a backlash against the high, often unscrupulous fees charged by big banks—prompted many people to move their money to community banks and credit unions.
The outrage may have dissipated, but moving your money, if you haven’t already, is still a good idea (what’s up with that Wells Fargo account?) It remains one of the simplest steps individuals can take to make a difference in our capital-driven world.
For starters, community banks and member-owned credit unions tend to lend mostly to small and local businesses—a market that big banks have all but abandoned. A growing number of them are driven by a mission to lift up underserved communities, help combat climate change and generally channel capital for social good. Many are B Corps or community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
Best of all, they provide all the services consumers expect, such as ATM networks, free checking accounts and mobile banking, but with lower fees and higher interest rates on accounts. Some newer entrants have adopted online-only models, which bring down costs further. (They’re all chartered and insured by the appropriate agencies, of course).
Here are a handful of banks that are worthy stewards of your money—including some noteworthy newcomers:
Amalgamated Bank and New Resource Bank
You may have missed it in the holiday bustle, but in mid-December, these two banks announced their intention to merge and create “the largest values-based bank in the U.S.”[…]
The full and original article can be viewed on Locavesting.com
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