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PICO Clergy Divest from Big Banks

April 20, 2012, 4:09 pm | Posted by Jessica Barba Brown

Clergy members of the PICO National Network are putting their money where their mouth is. As part of an ongoing campaign to hold big banks accountable for immoral predatory lending practices and foreclosure fraud, individual congregations and clergy members have been doing their part by divesting from the banks:

[Rev. Jane Quandt] and other Inland religious leaders say they have heard too many stories of banks’ ill treatment of homeowners who have struggled — and often failed — to hang onto their houses as the economy spiraled down. They are part of a growing group of clergy and congregants who are abandoning giant banks in favor of smaller community institutions to avoid taking part in what Quandt calls “institutional sin.”

Christian churches tend to think of sin in personal terms, but it’s not just personal, Quandt said. There are times when it’s embedded in institutions and it’s embedded in systems.

The campaign has already gained significant momentum; according to the article, “25 congregations, along with clergy and community groups, have moved at least $30 million from big banks to community banks and credit unions.” In this inspiring way, the faith community continues to hold bad actors accountable for the institutional sin of unjust economic practices and policies.

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