Terri Mickelsen and about 7,500 of her friends aren’t waiting to jump into the green revolution. They’re members of Clean Energy Credit Union, where Mickelsen is CEO, and since 2017 they’ve already invested around $200 million in clean energy or other green loans for member households across the country, offsetting an estimated 700,000 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions so far — equivalent to taking 152,000 gas-powered vehicles off the road permanently. Every month, they make another $6-8 million in green loans. “I am kind of a credit union nerd who got together with some clean energy nerds as we were chartering a new credit union,” says Mickelsen.
Financial podcasts have been featuring ominous headlines lately along the lines of “Your Bank Can Legally Seize Your Money” and “Banks Can STEAL Your Money?! Here’s How!” The reference is to “bail-ins:” the provision under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act allowing Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs, basically the biggest banks) to bail in or expropriate their creditors’ money in the event of insolvency. The problem is that depositors are classed as “creditors.” So how big is the risk to your deposit account? Part I of this two part article will review the bail-in issue.
Most locally owned banks and credit unions offer the same array of services, from online bill paying to debit and credit cards, at much lower cost than big banks. Average fees at small banks and credit unions are substantially lower than at big banks, according to national data. Studies show that small financial institutions also offer, on average, better interest rates on savings and better terms on credit cards and other loans.
By Camille Erickson for TC Daily Planet - “We can’t keep using the bodies of youth as the only tool for resistance,” Me’Lea Connelly, executive director of the Association of Black Economic Power (ABEP) said, “we need something else.” In the wake of the killing of Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, 2015 and the ensuing Fourth Precinct occupation, followed less than a year later by the killing of Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, Connelly recalled a drive for a concerted effort with movement organizers to diversify tactics of resistance against police brutality. A meeting was called, and after hours of conversation with a cross section of community, the group voted to create Minnesota’s only Black-led financial institution in North Minneapolis. A symbiotic relationship exists between ABEP and Blexit. Connelly described Blexit as the incubator and nest where ideas put forth by the community are percolated. ABEP puts them into action. The ABEP Executive Committee composed of – Connelly, Brett Grant, Ron Harris, Amber Jones, Danielle Mkali, Felicia Perry and Y. Elaine Rasmussen – are leading the effort to build the foundations of the credit union while still remaining deeply grounded in the conceptions of resistance movement.
The Most Rev Justin Welby told Wonga boss Errol Damelin the Church planned to do this by expanding credit unions as an alternative to payday lenders. The plan is to create "credit unions that are... engaged in their communities", he said. Mr Damelin said he was "all for better consumer choice". Payday firms offer short-term loans, often at high interest rates, and have been accused of leading people into more debt. Archbishop Welby, a former financier who sits on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, has previously lobbied for a cap on high interest rates charged by loan companies. He said the Church could do more to help non-profit lenders to compete with payday firms. "I've met the head of Wonga, and we had a very good conversation," the archbishop told Total Politics magazine.