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Churches pulling funds from big banks
MADISON, Wis. (11/28/11)--The New Bottom Line, a coalition of church congregations, community organizations, and labor unions is coordinating "Move our Money," a campaign to transfer $1 billion from big banks to credit unions and community banks--financial institutions that invest their money back into local communities.

About $55 million had been moved as part of the campaign as of Nov. 23, according to the Move Our Money website.

Roughly 100 leaders from a broad cross section of Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations pledged to move $100 million to community financial institutions, during a gathering sponsored by PICO National Network, a coalition of more than 1,000 faith-based social justice groups (The Christian Century Nov. 22).

In October, Most Holy Trinity Church and its school in San Jose, Calif., ended a longer-than 20-year relationship with Bank of America, moving its $3 million into a local credit union (News Now Oct. 24).

The New Bottom Line and its partners are introducing resolutions in 50 cities nationwide to divest transfer taxpayer funds to credit unions and community banks.

The Move Our Money campaign is not related to the "Move Your Money" project initiated two years ago by Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington and economist Rob Johnson.

It is also separate from the national "Bank Transfer Day" movement started on Facebook, which encouraged consumers to transfer funds to credit unions from banks on Nov. 5.

The Credit Union National Association reported that 700,000 people joined credit unions nationwide in the month before Bank Transfer Day--more than the 600,000 who joined in all of 2010, The Christian Century said.
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