So you've lost your job huh? Well when you get that unemployment check in the mail in many states you'll now get a bank debit card instead. Which bank? In California it's one that didn't have to pay federal income tax after being bailed out. The one
So you've lost your job huh? Well when you get that unemployment check in the mail in many states you'll now get a bank debit card instead. Which bank? In California it's one that didn't have to pay federal income tax after being bailed out. The one that threatened to raise ATM fees in the same month it announced it was CUTTING 30,000 jobs. Which bank? Bank of America.
When Bank of America announced plans to charge regular banking customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit card it created a wave of public criticism. But the lesser-known fees attached to prepaid debit cards are already extracting money from the most vulnerable Americans -- those unable to pay their bills and feed their families without public help -- in the midst of stubbornly high unemployment and soaring rates of poverty.
"The big banks have actually figured out a way to make unemployed workers a profit center, one that only grows as things get worse," said Angela Martin, executive director of Economic Fairness Oregon, a nonprofit advocacy group for low income and poor families.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, said unemployment recipients are clearly informed about the fees that pertain to their debit cards. She added that the cards provide a convenient and economical service, because they allow holders to use them to buy goods at stores and withdraw cash back without incurring a fee.
So not only are the skimming unemployment and welfare benefits - the recipients don't get a choice. Convenience? For whom? The bank. The pic above was from a reader who proudly closed his BofA account on November 5th at OccupyLA's action...only to get his unemployment benefits (and fees) in the mail a couple of days later with a big BofA logo on it.
I write for Fast Company, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and LA Weekly among many (many) others. My weekly column is syndicated in these things called "newspapers," which are analog blogs 80-year-olds seem to enjoy.
From Democracy Now -- Move Your Money: Campaign Grows to Divest from "Too Big to Fail" Banks to Local Banks, Credit Unions:
As participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement continue protesting the record profits made by banks bailed out by Read more...
The Obama Administration announced a $335 million settlement deal with Bank of America to settle charges of discriminatory lending practices. Here is, in ascending order of importance, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Justice Department Read more...
In other words, it's absolutely a given that Bank of America not only retain its current profit margin, it should be able to grow it off the backs of their overburdened customers. Free markets rock!
The nation's beleaguered banking industry, Read more...
Photo courtesy of Rainforest Action Network.
I'm really happy that these kind of public actions are becoming more common, because for too long, Americans have been operating on automatic pilot and now, thanks to a crushing recession, extreme Read more...
(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)
On Up with Chris Hayes, he showed a video that truly must be seen to be believed. After a Occupy Wall Street solidarity march in Santa Cruz, California, protesters decided to put their money where their mouths were Read more...