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Brockton, Massachusetts, Divests $170 Million From Bank Of America

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Bank of America may have millions of customers, but the government of Brockton, Mass., is no longer one of them.

Brockton is divesting its municipal payroll from Bank of America, moving the $170 million, 3,500-person account to Boston-based Eastern Bank, according to the Boston Globe.

Both the mayor and city treasurer of Brockton say they're making the jump to save on bank charges, and that staying with BofA would cost the city $20,000 to $30,000 a year in fees. That makes Brockton, shall we say, not the first Bank of America customer to express some displeasure over the cost of doing business with the bank.

Homeowner advocates in the city, meanwhile, say Brockton is doing the right thing by taking business away from BofA, given the bank's role in the national foreclosure crisis, which hit Brockton particularly hard. Since 2008, the city has had the highest foreclosure rate in Massachusetts, according to the Globe.

Brockton's hardly alone in distancing itself from major Wall Street banks, as a number of cities and prominent public figures have cut ties with big financial institutions.

The city of Buffalo moved $45 million out of JPMorgan Chase in May, not long after that bank revealed it had suffered a multibillion-dollar trading loss. Officials in Hempstead, New York, withdrew $12 million from JPMorgan in 2011, reportedly because the bank did not do more to help local borrowers stay in their homes. And church leaders in Oakland and San Jose have moved at least $3.1 million out of accounts at Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

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