Divest From Big Banks | Earth Day 2021
Let’s talk about the why and how to divest from big banks.
It’s Earth Day, I have many thoughts on the day, but one thing for sure we will not be encouraging you to shop with a discount to celebrate, or enticing you to buy with fancy new things, or the like, hold us accountable going forward please.
What we will be talking about is what we are currently in the throws of doing in order to make our own individual choices that can collectively lead to real change.
For Earth Day 2021, do the coolest fucking thing you can and divest from Big Banks.
*If you already do, pat yourself on the back and then annoyingly get all your friends and family on board.
Wait, what Marisa?! Divest from big banks? Why?
Why you should divest from Big Banks
Did you know if you are banking with one of Canada’s top 5 big banks you’re indirectly funding the climate crisis?
How you ask?
Money in banks makes interest. In simple terms, it’s used to back and fund big projects banks see as money makers. This is a very cut-and-dry explanation. Banking is a whole convoluted system that sort of makes you want to keep your cash under your mattress.
Here is more info and the reference links at the bottom are great too.
The projects that most big banks choose to invest in are oil; which leads us to pipelines, which are some of the most detrimental projects to land, water, and Indigenous lives.
Hop over to Banking on a Better Future for some great resources. Scary in-depths, a guide to switching banks, and a list of Indigenous orgs that have been on the frontlines of this for years. I suggest giving yourself plenty of time before closing an account, just in case you forgot something on auto-pay.
Our divestment journey and some tips
At Refill, after the rebrand from Fullerton’s Plain Goods, we immediately closed up those accounts and marched on over to Assiniboine Credit Union.
For us personally, we have been getting organized to divest from big banks this year to finally be able to close our current checking accounts at ScotiaBank. It’s been a long time coming and the pandemic slowed our roll but we are committed.
We cannot close every single account as we have some personal debt we have left to pay off. But we have plans to work towards being debt free and banking ethically. I know for small business owners, new to the banking scene, or new to Canada, this can be hard.
When I first got my Permanent Resident status in Canada, no matter how good my credit score was in the US, I had few options. I still have a baby credit score here and as a business owner credit unions offer less for small businesses starting.
The 90/10 rule of divesting from big banks
I suggest a 90/10 rule: divest 90% of your money from big banks. Allow 10% to be that one line of credit, credit card, or mortgage for a house or new building for your business. I am firmly with giving yourself that 10% if need be.
I get it, but make sure to get all your people on that same page. If more people chose to divest from big banks, our other options will get better!
As my Dad would say, “Cash is King,” so pull that right out of your Big Bank’s oily hands.