Refuse to Be Abused by Your Big Bank

04/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I refuse to be abused by my big bank. My name is Bruce Hartford, and I'm in an abusive relationship with Bank of America.

They used my money for their Wall Street gambling. Then when they crashed the economy, they blackmailed my government into bailing them out with my tax dollars.

They're still using my money to pay themselves obscene bonuses while laying off thousands and bankrupting small businesses.

After looting the public treasury for their own benefit, they're now bribing Congress to prevent any regulation that might prevent them from doing it again. Yes, I know they call it "campaign contributions," and "issue-oriented free speech," but it stinks like bribery to me.

They run ads in the newspaper bragging about how they're helping homeowners and investing in the local economy, but that's a lie and everyone on the block knows it. They suckered people into predatory mortgages and now that their house of cards has collapsed they're forcing people out of their homes and into the streets. Instead of making loans to businesses to restart the economy that they torpedoed, they finance corporate mergers and acquisitions that destroy jobs and devastate communities.

There used to be many solid regional banks in my community who competed with each other for my business. Now there are just four huge MegaBanks who compete with each other in how far they can jack up fees, how many new tricks they can come up with to gouge another buck out of their depositors, and how high they can raise credit card interest.

I'm told that the first step of ending an abusive relationship is to admit you're in one. The second step is to get out. Last week I went to to learn more about breaking up with my MegaBank, and then I went to to find a good, safe, local bank or credit union. As soon as my new accounts functioning, I'm walking out on BofA.

If I can break out of an abusive financial relationship, so can you. Please join me by breaking up with your MegaBank.

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