News Release

Big Banks Cash In On Unemployment

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 – The coalition Americans for Financial Reform, released the following statement on Friday concerning the practice of big banks, like Citi, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, of fleecing the unemployed through their debit cards.

John Taylor, National Community Reinvestment Coalition: “The release, this morning, of the January unemployment numbers is a stark reminder of the hard work still ahead of us to get the economy to rebound from the recession and to put all Americans back to work. Strong financial reform that will rein in Wall Street, protect consumers and get banks to start lending again will greatly help with economic recovery.”

Gary Kalman, TexPIRG: “The numbers released this morning should also serve as a reminder of the practice of big banks to profit from fees from the unemployment benefits that many Americans collect through debit cards. In short, the big banks, like Citi, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are raking in tens of millions of dollars on the suffering of millions of unemployed Americans. And many of the unemployed people the banks are profiting from are unemployed because of the economic ruin that followed the financial crisis caused by the banks.

“Big Banks’ fleecing of the unemployed is yet another example of Main Street paying for Wall Street excess. Wall Street had the party and Main Street is left footing the bill. This is a shameful and appalling practice that hurts those mostly directly hurt by the economic downturn that the Big Banks are largely responsible for. The big banks’ practice of preying on the unemployed is stark reminder of why we need strong financial reform, including a strong independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. It is time Congress puts an end to this practice.”

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