Most people don't have enough in savings to make traditional community development investments. However, 93% of people have access to a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union. Changing to a better bank can be anyone's alternative to community investing, and I’ll explain how.
When you put your money into the bank, it shouldn't just sit there. Banks use their accumulated capital for lending, and where they decide to lend that money can make a huge difference. Some banks may not loan out their capital, and some may focus primarily on smaller, commercial loans for cars and motorcycles. Other banks may be lending to corporations which work against your priorities and values, or may be making no attempt to loan locally, where your money is going to make the most difference to you and those in your community.
The largest banks, which we call "mega-banks," often operate in many of these ways, and yet many people still bank with these mega-banks because they are convienient, and because many people don't know they have other banking options. Moving your money from these mega-banks to smaller, locally minded banks can be a great first step to helping your money be effective where you want it to be.
Better Banking Options was created to direct people to the banking options which are actively contributing to their communities, primarily in serving low- and moderate-income people usually underserved in traditional banking.
We do this by:
making it easy to learn about how important our banking choices are;
helping people find a better bank that works for them;
celebrating the power of organized money put to work in better banks and credit unions.
Why is "where should I bank?" such an important question?
We write and publish articles on everything from great banking options to banking's impact on our world today.
We source federal data to give you insight into which banks and credit unions near you are doing the most quality lending.
We find banks and credit unions with unique approaches that address untraditional, but still important, credit needs.
We spread the word on social media on the importance of banking, and help people who reach out to us make the change to a better bank.
We hope to encourage banking institutions to adopt socially responsible practices, and encourage our government to regulate the banking industry.
We are passionate about this project because diverting capital through choosing better banking options is one of the simplest changes the compassionate individual can make to help their communities and the world. We hope to both help as many people make the change to a better bank as possible, as well as illuminate the issue of socially responsible banking and put pressure on depository institutions to start moving towards community-driven investment.