Local Government Gives Big Banks The Boot

Tired of the credit crunch, state and local governments are putting their money where their mouths are--with small banks. Should you join them?

There's no two ways about it--states have big bank books.  Even states that haven't been making a lot of cash in investments these days, or states that are losing money, they still take in a lot of dough from the various taxes they assign.  And cities have their share too.  So when a state government is starting to look at local banks instead of giant conglomerates to hold their cash, it's enough to make you consider joining them.

See, the states and municipalities are fed up with BoA and all the rest telling them--and their citizens--where to stick it when it comes to getting a loan.  The big banks have tightened credit so far that even perfect credit scores are being turned away.  The states aren't happy about this--no credit means small business has problems and that means fewer taxes coming back. 

But meanwhile, your local bank IS LENDING.  Some of them even say so in their advertising--I've heard at least three radio ads this week for local banks saying "we're lending!", and not long ago, a banker came into my favorite local coffee joint to ask if they were looking to do any expansion that might need a loan!  So the states, which still have big amounts of cash coming in even if there's just as much going out, are taking a closer look at parking their dough with smaller banks, giving them more TO lend in the first place.

I asked in the summary, "should you join them"?  Well, it's not exactly rocket surgery to consider this move; if you've got an account with BoA and something goes wrong you're on a call to New York or maybe even BANGALORE in a bid to get the problem fixed.  At your local bank, however, the problem fixers are right there.  You can see them yourself.  And it's not like anyone's offering any huge premiums interest rate wise, so if you do a little checking around first, you're likely to find a bank near you that's offering the same (or better, sometimes) rates than the nationals.

So you may want to take the same move the states are taking, and take your money elsewhere.

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