What do you see when you look at your bank card?

17th February 2012 by

Julia Koskella, in this guest post, explains why she is helping to launch a new social movement in the UK: Move Your Money.

Imagine your bank card – and the money it represents. What do you see? Whenever I take out my HSBC card I see my role in perpetuating an unequal, unsustainable society.

My big bank stands for all the things I don’t support: investing in arms, dictatorships, environmental destruction, bloated bonuses, financial crises, tax avoidance, staggering inequality of income, clinging on to “business as usual”. Your bank probably does too.

I don’t know why I didn’t move my money to a better bank years ago. I guess the financial system was one of those issues that felt too huge to handle. It seemed immune to citizens’ complaints.

But now I’m putting my money in the hands of an organisation I trust and like: my local credit union. It’s mutually owned, so it distributes its profits fairly and invests in my local community and in me. And there are lots of other thriving banking solutions out there.

I’m not doing it alone. I will be an important piece in a new social movement: Move Your Money. I’m using my consumer power to change the banking system for the better.

Move Your Money started in the USA with Arianna Huffington, and 5.6 million people switched banks in the past months. This month it launched in the UK too, and is already attracting lots of support.

The movement needs you too.  Check out the website, and pledge to move your money.  It’s a great one-stop-shop for clear information on why, how and where to move your money to.  (I for one couldn’t tell my credit unions from my building societies!)

Invite your neighbours round in March to move your money all together. It will be Move Your Money Month, with citizens around the country organising their own community events.

The financial system no longer seems so distant and depressing.  We’re an active part of it and we have a voice in how finance works. I’m joining with you (I hope) and thousands of others to turn our talk into a better banking system that works for people and planet.

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