Banking and Our Values

Banking and Our Values

Implementing the Resolution: Evaluating your bank and, maybe, finding a new one

The resolution asks congregations and all settings of the UCC to “faithfully examine their banking relationships with financial institutions, and, where practical and prudent, deliberately move toward relating to financial institutions that have records of fair lending, business and investing practices as each body discerns for its setting.”

The implementation steps are as follows (also see the diagram):

1.      Evaluate the financial institutions that the church or other setting of the UCC is currently using. These resources may be helpful in this evaluation. 

2.      Determine whether these financial institutions are ones that you are proud to call your financial partner. Are the institutions and relationships appropriate (“appropriateness” is defined by the congregation’s needs and encompasses practices that serve both bank customers and the community)?

3.      If the answer to #2 is “Yes,” no further action is required. If the answer to #2 is “No,” there are two options.

4.      If there are compelling reasons to continue using a particular financial institution despite concerns about its practices (for example, if it is the only bank in town and the Sunday morning offering needs to be easily deposited on Sunday morning), then the congregation or other setting could approach and work with the financial institution to make changes so it becomes a good partner.

It is likely that the biggest impact can be achieved if multiple congregations partner together in this effort, bringing together their collective influence on a banking institution. During the discussion of this resolution at General Synod, a UCC pastor described a “hugely successful” ecumenical effort in Florida to meet with local banks and move them to change unfair practices.

5.      If there are no compelling reasons to stay with the current financial institution, an evaluation should be made of other options and a selection made from the competing financial institutions.These resources may help.

When making a change from one institution to another, it is important to inform both institutions of the reasons for making the switch. Please also share your experiences with others in the UCC. 

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Contact Info

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