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Do You Bank Local? A Sonoma How To Guide

Rolled out earlier this year, the 'Bank Local' guide offers motivational YouTube videos (take a look, at right) and a wealth of information on the benefits of shopping local – with your banking provider.

Though continues to rock the east bay, the one-day took a more streamlined approach. Protestors focused their efforts on , calling for residents to move their money to smaller, local banks.

The 'bank local' movement is growing. Move Your Money, a website calling for workers to move their money out of large banks such as Bank of America, Citigroup and Chase, runs a countdown of those that promise to make the switch. Almost 60,000 pledged.

Closer to home, Sonoma County GoLocal, a cooperative of businesses and residents who advocate for keeping spending dollars near home, has designed a guide to help Sonoma residents make the switch.

Rolled out earlier this year, the 'Bank Local' guide offers motivational YouTube videos (take a look, at right) and a wealth of information on the benefits of shopping local – with your banking provider.

What's in it for you? "Lower fees, better service and a stronger local economy," according to the GoLocal website.

To make it easy, the site offers series of profiles of local banks and credit unions and, once you've selected your favorite local banking provider, a step-by-step guide to making the switch.

(The site even lets you search for the nearest local bank by zipcode.

In Sonoma, and top the GoLocal list. (Though, the newly opened is pretty local.)

Roy Tennant November 03, 2011 at 04:20 PM
I understand the urge to "bank local" and agree with it, but I can't help pointing out a potential problem -- being with a bank that is NOT too large to fail. My wife and I were charter shareholders at Sonoma Valley Bank, because we believed in banking local. In the end, we lost thousands of dollars. So banking local is not all sweetness and light. Go in with your eyes open, and keep them open.
Tom November 03, 2011 at 05:24 PM
It doesn't really matter if you go to a big bank or a small local bank. They are all governed and audited by the same entity. The bank melt down and subsequent problems were due to lack of oversight. Go with the bank that gives you the best service because at the end of the day it all comes down to who is sitting across the desk or on the line.
Ralph Hutchinson November 04, 2011 at 08:53 AM
Sonoma Bank is former Sonoma National and was bought by a Spokane Washington bank (Sterling Bank) so its out of state. Sonoma Valley Bank failed from too many concentrated assets out of The Valley to a corrupt Marin Developer now charged with 4 counts of Insurance fraud and under Federal Investigation for bank losses in Charter Oak Bank Napa, PFF Bank, IndyMac Bank, United Commercial Bank all failed Banks. Greed and fraud are not good examples of Community Banks and the "bank local" initiative.
Ralph Hutchinson November 04, 2011 at 08:58 AM
Banks are not governed by the same entity. Treasury has National Banks, the FDIC and Federal Reserve govern the State Banks. Credit Unions can be Federal or State. Banks target consumers or commercial customers usually. So some service each category better or worse so it matters the choices you make. Foreign owned Banks like Bank of the West (French), Union Bank (Japanese) or RaboBank (Dutch) also have clear differences in strengths and weakness. Private Banks like First Republic offer more high touch service to high net worth customers and business.
Ralph Hutchinson November 04, 2011 at 09:05 AM
No depositors suffered losses in the Sonoma Valley Bank fiasco. Shareholders like Mr Tennant suffered equity investment losses as their holding company shares plummeted from a high of about $35 a share to $0.03 a share. The FDIC lost about $20 million and Treasury lost $9 million in TARP bailout funds. All parties who suffered losses are suing for negligence against Progressive Insurance the Insurance Carrier covering Directors + Officers. Directors are also being sued personally as Banks are the only corporation where liability and fiduciary responsibility carries into their pockets beyond their stock ownership. Federal Authorities will also likely lay claim soon enough.

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