Banking and Our Values

Resources for evaluating your financial institutions

Just Principles for Financial Transactions developed by Center for Responsible Lending through their conversations with faith groups

  • Promote honesty, clarity, transparency and evenhandedness. All sides should have the same opportunity to understand and negotiate a contract. Kick backs and fees that distort lender and broker incentives to deal fairly with customers should be eliminated. 
  • Prohibit unconscionable rates of interest. Usury caps to address abusive lending should be reinstated.  
  • Include traditional underwriting standards. Lenders have a responsibility to assess whether borrowers can repay. 
  • Support equity in credit across communities. Practices that particularly burden communities of color or low-income communities must be ended.   
  • Limit fee-based penalties and business models that depend on consumer-over spending and recurrent indebtedness. Penalties against repaying debts early should be eliminated.   
  • Require that the interest and fees charged on a loan are reasonable and proportional to the services rendered.   
  • Call upon that banks and credit unions provide a range of responsible banking and credit products in their communities.
  • Establish financial institutions which adhere to these principles in poor neighborhoods and other underserved communities.

Ms. Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115