Today we began the process of leaving Bank of America, and put-ting our money in a local bank. Yes, there are a few community banks left. Of course, there is no guarantee it won’t eventually be gobbled up by hungry corporate international mouths hovering nearby. In fact, our money was originally in a local bank that was bought out by Bank of America, who, by making the transition absolutely seamless, prevented us noticing much change, at least at first.
Since the crash, JB and I have often discussed moving our money back to a community bank, especially wanting to support local businesses and removing our support from the kind of speculative trading that Wall Street participates in. We also want to impact productive community investments and local charitable gifts. Clearly, the effect of our small amount of monies on the financial market is rather negligible, but it is a cleansing feeling to be divesting ourselves from that corporate world and, in fact, truly helping our neighbors.
We called the community bank to ask a few questions before we left the house to set up the account and to our surprise, a real person answered the phone. Perhaps that deserves repetition — A REAL PERSON ANSWERED THE PHONE, and answered our question right away, then immediately (no wait) forwarded our call to a financial counselor who answered a few more questions.
When we walked into the bank, it reminded me a bit of the bank where my parents banked — small, intimate— with a similar decor of wood and marble that visually expressed “traditional and secure.” The opening of the account took maybe ten minutes (though there will be some time spent transferring direct deposits and online bill pay). The financial counselor doing the transaction was friendly and helpful. It was all rather pleasant.