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Big Banks Threaten To Withhold Campaign Donations To Politicians

If you think that money has not corrupted the political process in the United States, then read this Raw Story news article. If they don't get their way, several big banks have threatened to withhold campaign contributions:

"Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party's tone toward Wall Street... Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discuss at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations..."

The threat is not to only to candidates, but to organizations, like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, that raise funds for candidates. The gesture would be symbolic, since the most a bank can give directly is $15,000 per year. They all probably give more indirectly through super-PACs.

Let's briefly review some of the banks' history:

Bank of America August, 2011: Bank Of America To Settle Class-Action Lawsuit With Overdraft Fees

December, 2011: Bank Of America Agrees to Pay $335 Million To Settle Discrimatory Lending Lawsuit

March, 2012: Bank Of America To Test New Fees

September, 2014: The U.S. Justice Department And Bank Of America Agree On Record Settlement Amount

March, 2015: Bank of America Raises Prices For Its Checking Customers. What You Need To Know And How To Avoid The New Fees
Citigroup March, 2010: Citibank Breach Exposes Sensitive Personal Information of 600,000 Consumers

June, 2011: Citigroup Increases Number of Breach Victims To 360 Thousand

July, 2011: Customer Losses From Citigroup Data Breach At $2.7 Million

October, 2011: Citigroup To Pay $285 Million To Settle An SEC Lawsuit About Mortgage Backed Securities

July, 2014: Citigroup To Pay $7 Billion Settlement For Misleading Investors About Toxic Mortgage Backed Securities
JP Morgan September, 2013: JPMorgan Chase To Pay About $1 Billion in Fines To Settle Charges By Regulators

October, 2013: JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Justice Department Reach Tentative $13 Billion Settlement About Mortgage-Backed Securities. What Next?

December, 2013: Settlement Agreements Require JP Morgan Bank To Pay Record Amount of Fines

December, 2013: JPMorgan Chase Bank: Data Breach Affects 500,000 Prepaid Cardholders, And The Bank's Sordid History

December, 2013: You Gave JPMorgan Bank A Whale Of A Christmas Gift

Given this history, these banks should be focused instead upon strengthening their data security, eliminating banking deserts, and improving their customers' satisfaction and loyalty. Yes, banks are free to donate money to the candidates of their choice. Similarly, consumers are free to deposit their hard-earned money in the bank (or credit union) of their choice. I'm glad that I moved all of my money out of Bank of America.

What are your opinions of the banks' threats?


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