Bank Front-line Workers Might Be Able to Help A Process Gone Wrong

 Banks - Big Banks
Read this:  In this article from The Nation Magazine, Michelle Chen looks at how far poor communities are from actually being helped by big banks.  “The report finds that poor communities tend to be both underbanked and overexploited by banks.  Though lenders no longer give away subprime mortgages like candy, bank chains still degrade vulnerable consumers. Roughly a quarter of households natiotnwide are considered unbanked or underbanked, lacking access to basic financial resources like a checking account.”  Predatory banking practices are supposedly curtailed since the crisis of 2008, but, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) reports that the “average teller or customer service agent is often still restrained by the structural inequities built into the financial system. Bank workers say they are pressured to track people toward high-risk credit schemes that may erode the wealth of the community. Wall Street is less interested in ‘low margin’ services like a simple checking account, and focused on marketing higher-yield products like credit cards and high-cost mortgages.”  Frontline bank workers are also suffering as “workers have seen their hourly wages decline since 2007, part-time schedules are common, and many have seen their health insurance benefits gutted as banks have trimmed down. Turnover at retail bank branches is rampant, averaging ‘between 15 and 30 percent, with some positions as high as 40 percent’.”  Many other factors contribute to this process that is “draining wealth from the grassroots to corporate coffers.”  In the end, Chen proposes that one solution “is to build labor power on the banking industry’s ground floor—to give frontline workers more control over and investment in their workplaces.”  Read her article to get the whole story.
 

 

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