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This Valentine's Day, Break Up With Your Bank

Ever get the feeling your bank is lying to you? Covering up for something? Avoiding your calls and questions? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, chances are you and your bank are in a one-sided relationship in which you are doing all the work, and they're reaping all the rewards. This Valentine's Day, why not just end the suffering and break up with your bank? The apt metaphor is behind the new campaign called "Break Up With Your Bank." It's the brainchild of A New Way Forward (ANWF), the grassroots campaign founded last year and which has been fighting for structural reform of the financial sector ever since. Taking a cue from the populist power behind the Move Your Money campaign, which urges Americans to move their money from the big banks to local community banks and credit unions, Break Up With Your Bank is calling on exploited bank consumers to call attention to the abusive practices they suffer at the hands of bailed-out too-big-to-fail banks. The bad guys here, of course, are mostly the the so-called Big Six: JP Morgan/Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Experts believe the first four alone hold at least 40 percent of our nation's deposits and half of all bank assets. Those four also account for 90 percent of all credit cards in the country, and ANWF says they "are using their market dominance to charge interest rates that are, on average, 20 points higher than the rates of local bank and credit union cards." By transferring your liquid assets and your credit card debt to a local bank or credit union, not only will your amortized savings be much higher, but you will also hit the banks where it hurts them most -- with your money. "By crashing the economy and affecting our jobs, schools, libraries, taxes, and almost all of our domestic policy, they are undermining democracy," ANWF national coordinator Tiffiniy Cheng wrote in an e-mail to AlterNet. "This is a way to hold them accountable, in good old democratic fashion." Break Up With Your Bank will be hosting 400 public events nationwide that will call attention to many of the worst banking practices. Go to one and make yourself heard. This is financial reform in the people's hands.

(Learn more about Break Up With Your Bank in our Take Action center.  Andtake the pledge!)