Group wants city to transfer funds to local banks

Group wants city to transfer funds to local banks »Play Video
Christopher Yarrow would like to see the city of Portland do its banking with local banks.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Tens of thousands moved their money recently to a local bank or credit union. Now, a citizens group that includes Occupy activists wants the city of Portland to transfer its funds to all local institutions.

Christopher Yarrow sported a sign and T-shirt at Wednesday's City Council meeting that said, "I am part of the 99 percent." As an Occupy Portland activist and local businessman, he just switched his own funds to a local credit union.

Yarrow didn't have any problems with his old bank, but he said it was worth it to go through the hassle of moving all his money.

"Here's something that I can do within my lifetime, this year, this week, in the next few months, right now, that will work towards building my community, my participation here in Portland," he said.

But as a small business owner, Yarrow understands that a switch on a citywide scale could be a big undertaking. He doesn't expect the city to act right away as long as it's being discussed.

"A lot of these ideas that are being thrown around and considered at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Portland, it's all in the realm of possibility," he said.

Mayor Sam Adams said the city does do most of its banking with Umpqua Bank, Oregon's largest charter bank.

A public hearing was held to discuss the city’s business with Wells Fargo Bank, but the City Council is interested in the group’s proposal and will look into banking more with local institutions.