Occupy SF wants to create a credit union

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Credit Union Times
By: Jim Rubenstein
November 30, 2011

Occupy SF wants to create a credit union

Occupy San Francisco said it filed pre-Thanksgiving paperwork with the state to charter a proposed People's Reserve Credit Union.

Legislative aides to two members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Eric Mar and John Avalos, who have been active in Occupy confirmed their bosses "support the credit union concept" as a counter to big bank exploitation, though one said "we haven't seen all the concrete details" on the planning for People's Reserve.

Officials in the offices of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and the California Department of Financial Institutions said they had not seen any applications from the group.

"But if they filed the incorporation papers last Tuesday, it would take many days before we would see them come through,"said a spokeswoman for Bowen.

At a downtown rally Nov. 23, two speakers, Brian Mckeown and Jason MacArthur, according to a widely circulated Internet press release, said a CU was needed "to encourage San Francisco residents, businesses, as well as non-profit and city agencies to keep their money out of the big banks and to redistribute that money locally."

"Initial services," said the release, would include "micro-loans for the working poor and homeless and subsidized student loans at low interest rates."

The name, said the release, was registered with the state on Nov. 22 "and the charter meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10."

Occupy San Francisco said its CU project "arose as a response to criminal Wall Street activities, exploitative behavior of the big banks, and the dire needs of the local community."

The press statement said People's Reserve would "start with 500 members, and grow to 2,000 members before 12/2012 and accumulate capital assets of $7 million." It expects to open two branches "within the city of San Francisco."

Henry Kertman, vice president of public affairs for the California/Nevada Credit Union League, said its staff had no contact with the group but that it was aware of the mention as carried on an ABC TV broadcast and on a Facebook posting.

Mckeown told Credit Union Times that as one of the principal organizers of People's Reserve "the paperwork for the name" was filed with the Secretary of State and "the Department of Financial Institutions was made aware of our plans three weeks ago"

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