With Whom Should I Bank? (Regarding Banks and Bad Donations)

I’m looking for a bank that does not give money to so-called “Planned Parenthood”. Currently, my student bank account (and, since I am a graduate student, it is therefore my primary bank account) is with Bank of America, which gives money to United Way, which gives money to Planned Parenthood, at least as far as the state of Pennsylvania is concerned.

My father recommends USAA as a good bank, but upon inspection, I discovered that they also give to United Way, perhaps even more than Bank of America! And they brag about doing so, whereas Bank of America is more discreet in its bad dealings.

I’m attending the University of Pennsylvania, and intend to look into the Student Federal Credit Union at the University of Pennsylvania. I will ask them soon whether they engage in charity or fundraising, and if so, to what end.

What do you recommend? Do you know of any good national banks that do not encourage immoral practices? (I’m interested in both checking and savings accounts.)


Great question! :thumbsup: Here’s a link to Life Decisions International, who publishes a comprehensive list of PP-donating businesses: http://www.fightpp.org/

You’ll notice the names of several large banks right off the bat.

Does the Vatican Bank take deposits?

Beware the trolls. :rolleyes:

I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but put your money under your mattress! It earns more interest there! :smiley:

It’s good that you’re being conscientious in whom you give business to. I think it might be hard to find a bank that doesn’t give to some questionable organization, at least a large bank. I think the degree of proximite evil here is very small - indeed, you could put your savings in your credit union and then hear the credit union announce it’s donating $1,000 to Planned Parenthood for this that or the other thing, and you’re back to square one.

At the same time, where you have no control over donations, and where your actions will have no impact, you have no culpability. So if you DO pull your deposits out, make sure someone there knows about it.

One of the concerns I have had more locally is with our company’s support of the United Way, though since we can direct what causes receive our paycheck contributions, that’s less of an issue for me.

A more plausible, though still distant, concern for me is a group called the H.R.C. - the Human Rights Campaign. It’s a gay rights group that’s very invasive, to the point that they publish a scathing report against large companies, push for certain measures so they become “partners” with the HRC, and one of those measures is to push HRC partnership for their vendors and clients. We’ve had rumblings here about the need to embrace it because our clients (including large banks) do, and while I don’t think it’s likely given we’re in the Bible Belt and we have a lot of very conservative evangelicals at my company who would throw a fit if they had to go to sensitivity training for gay rights, it’s a possibility.

Back to your question. I’m personally a fan of credit unions, though, partly because my wife works at one, but also because the rates for loans and savings tend to be better. That’s not always the case, but it’s a good reason to start there.

At the same time, many of my clients are large banks, and given what I know of their inner workings, there’s zero conversation about donations - often it’s an afterthought for a mid-level marketing manager or public relations or community relations person who is given a budget of $2 million annually and told to spread it wide and far so press releases can be sent out frequently saying what a good job they’re doing.

I actually was in charge of receiving requests for donations in a previous role. That company focused on helping locally, so we’d reject a donation to a statewide cause but would be happy to give to the local food pantry, homeless shelter or a struggling school. And, man, it was constant. There was one organization - a general social services cause run by a very vocal AME church - to whom we donated 100 turkey dinners for Thanksgiving. Two weeks later they came at us with “look, we all know you make a lot more money and you take so much out of the community, you really need to be putting more back in”. Talk about ingratitude!

Okay, that’s my Friday tangent. Good luck finding a responsible financial services provider.

  1. I’m not going to pay for a list of questionable companies, and charging for such information really seems like an attempt to profit.

  2. What I’ve gotten from the conversation so far otherwise has been, “Don’t worry about it, but consider putting savings in the credit union as its interest rate will be better.”

How disappointing that there are no banks that refrain from supporting immorality…?

Something I forgot to mention about credit unions - given their limited charitable funds and not-for-profit charters, they usually choose to support one charity for a given State, and that one charity is one they rally employees around. In Missouri, I think all credit unions support Make-A-Wish, which is also true in Virginia, New Hampshire, Georgia, and possibly in Pennsylvania. I’d have a hard time seeing Planned Parenthood in that role.

When you put it that way, I can see you really want to be sensitive to what the Bank does with the profit it makes from your business, which is very respectable. From a theological standpoint, that’s not necessary, but your own sensibility is more stringent, so let’s work with that.

How about look for a financial institution that’s small enough that they aren’t likely to support PP, either by being approached by them or having the same resource limits that many credit unions have. Maybe they support United Way - that’s very common especially in smaller communities where UW is the only real marketing tool that local charities have.

Remember that the mindset in smaller banks and credit unions is that they hold employee drives to help buttress donations given by the institution, and it’s easier to rally employees for St. Jude’s Children’s Mercy or another non-controversial organization rather than something like Planned Parenthood.

I don’t think it even enters their radar. Or if there are questions, the answers are something like “well, your funds will only be used to provide mammograms to lower-income women.” In which case, the company would have a hard time justifying NOT giving to a potentially-life saving effort even if the organization conducts nefarious activities. The only reason why PP is allowed to exist in so many communities is because it provides services other than murdering the unborn.

I don’t suppose you’ve read their reason for charging for the list? Or the list of offending banks they make readily available on their homepage? I consider their reasons valid, and I have no problem supporting an organization who actually does quite a bit of work (imagine paying for someone’s work) researching companies’ donations. That’s a LOT of research. Shame on them for asking to be supported so they can continue to do what they do. Glad the Church never does that. :rolleyes: But let’s all feel free to do our own private research.

Why would you want to be with a bank, let alone a national bank, when you have a credit union accessible?

CUs are far better creatures.

Well, I don’t know how accessible my money will be, when I will likely remain in Philadelphia for less than two more years. I guess I should ask them how national – or international – they are … Something to look into. Also, I don’t know how credit unions operate, how safe my money will be – they might engage in more reckless investment and lose my money? How can I know? …

Not sure if you have them but stay away from HSBC.

No. Actually credit unions are INCREDIBLY sound. . . this is because they don’t serve the capitalist profit motive and had little reason to engage in the big nonsense of recent years. Federal deposit insurance, to the exact amount of FDIC, is guaranteed through the NCUA, the National Credit Union Administration, the federal agency that oversees the credit union world.

The opposite, then, is the truth: credit unions are LESS risky than banks. More regulated than banks has meant, in recent years, depositor security. Profits from CUs go to CU membership in the form of lower-cost loans, checking and savings perks and to the CU’s base capitalization.

With respect to donations, most credit unions are local. They are unlikely to be giving anything to large national entities, but are more likely to support local organizations. They’re pretty responsible, so you can just ask them.

The only “national”-sized CU I can think of is the Navy credit union.

But then, I don’t see it as being particularly valuable to do my banking with the largest entity around. This usually means more customer dissatisfaction. Just avoid Bank (Robbers) of America! :slight_smile:

Planned Parenthood does not provide “healthcare” for lower-income women. It does not provide mammograms. I urge you, please watch the following video: youtube.com/watch?v=aq0kBkUZbvQ&feature=share

And as far as PP “providing services other than murdering the unborn”, please view this video at what that is: youtube.com/watch?v=uWHsFE4TNGs&list=UUE9Ebp5nm1F7s7iHflJ9A7Q&index=2&feature=plcp Please make sure there are no kids in the room when you watch this video. It is extremely appalling that they actually do this.

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