By Shawn Martin
Tuesday, April 16th members of US Bank will be jetting to Boise, Idaho for their annual shareholders meeting and they would like to keep it a low-key event.
The Minneapolis, MN-based bank is trying to hide this meeting to keep the activists away, but it is turning out to be a futile effort.
Word is out and payday loan backers first bank is feeling heat for backing companies who prey on the poor.
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Activists will attend!
ICAN, Idaho Community Action Network, will be attending and are planning on non-violent protests both inside and outside the meetings. Most members of this group are working poor and seniors. many will be driving 5 to 7 hours to be there.
“You can run but you can’t hide.” many have been quoted as saying about the meeting being so far from the corporate headquarters.
Idaho may have been a very poor choice
It probably was not a good idea picking Idaho to hide this meeting, Not only does Idaho have the highest number of minimum wage workers in all of the US, for every job available there are 32 applicants.
Payday loan usage in this state is rampant, and many are trapped into barely making the interest payments every month and not even touching the balance of their loans.
People have had enough of big banks taking advantage of the poor and disabled. For example, one of the major points ICAN is protesting is the fact that US Bank is a backer of EZ Corp, Cash America, and Advance America.
These companies are centered around low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color. While US bank defines the loans these companies give out as checking account advances, at APRs of 365% protesters are calling them easy cash loans for the lenders.
Plenty of action is planned in the near future. They can run but they can not hide seems to be a fitting statement.
Wells Fargo will be holding their stockholders meeting in Salt Lake City the following week, and coming very soon will be JP Morgan and Bank Of America’s shareholder meetings. If you want to get involved now is the time to make your voice heard, says ICAN executive director Terri Sterling.
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