I have been a long-time customer of JP Morgan Chase: personal banking, business banking, mortgage, stockholder, the works. I was astonished, several years ago, to find that they actually listened to me, when I pointed out a bug in their on-line banking platform. (Ironically, it was the “We’re Listening” link: the icon used backslashes in its path, and was only visible on Internet Explorer.)
But I’ve finally woken up to realize that Chase is the single biggest financer of fossil-fuel extraction in the world. For a company that believes in investing for the long term, I can’t decide if that’s hypocrisy, greed, or just plain stupidity.
In any case, I just wrote (a plain old paper letter) to each member of the board of directors, requesting that they change course, or that I would be forced to stop doing all business with them. (See attached PDF below). Now one guy, one stockholder, is not a big deal. But I already hear rumblings that they are taking notice. (I emailed a complaint late last year, and I was called by a representative who wanted to assure me that “they heard my concern”. They didn’t say they were doing anything about, of course.)
So — where do you bank? If it’s Chase, or one of the other ‘dirty’ banks — this is a really good time to (literally) put your money where your mouth is. And hey, if you have a mortgage with them, it’s also a really good time to refinance with a local, responsible bank that is a CDFI. (Rates are low, at least in early 2020.) Most credit unions, for example, qualify.
Think about it.
P.S. There are many climate-related events scheduled for April 21-23 2020, including (I hear) a ‘teach-in’ outside Chase branches. You may see me there! Check out stopthemoneypipeline.com.
P.P.S. My letter to Chase.