Buffalo City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder announced on Thursday that the city would be pulling $45 million in funds from an account with JPMorgan Chase, following concerns raised by members of the Occupy Buffalo movement.
BuffaloNews.com reported that the Buffalo Sewer Authority funds will be deposited into a higher-yielding account with the local bank First Niagara. The new account will earn 0.30 percent interest. The account with JPMorgan had a 0.25 percent interest rate.
“Not only will the funds earn more interest with First Niagara, a major local employer headquartered in Buffalo, but it also sends a crystal clear message to JPMorgan Chase that the City of Buffalo is not happy with their business practices,” Schroeder said in a statement.
Members of the Occupy Buffalo movement and others had urged the Buffalo Common Council to withdrawal their funds from JPMorgan. The group of demonstrators have been critical of the major bank's foreclosure practices.
“I commend the comptroller for seeking a solution to concerns raised by residents, while at the same time saving taxpayers’ money by doing business with a local bank,” said Council President Richard A. Fontana.
In his statement, Schroeder also called for more federal financial regulation. He claimed the Volcker Rule in the Dodd-Frank Act was not enough to keep the financial system stable.
“I urge the federal government to strengthen regulations on these big banks,” Schroeder said. “Meanwhile, the Comptroller’s office and the Common Council will be watching JPMorgan Chase very closely over the next few months.”