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Want to protest bank bailouts? Move your money, a new campaign urges.

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Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Cookie Ferguson (right) opened a new account last March at Community Bank of the Bay in Oakland, Calif. A new campaign is urging depositors angry over bailouts at big banks to switch to local institutions.

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Mad about the bank bailouts? Had enough of huge bonuses and too-big-to-fail apologies?

Here's one way to do something about it.

Take your money out. That's right. Take your checking and savings account out of that big money-center financial institution and move it to a community bank or credit union.

There's even a movement afoot to help consumers make the switch, called Move Your Money, with a well-timed message and a good video (see below).

The website offers search tools so consumers thinking about switching can type in their zip codes to find a credit union or a strong community bank nearby.

Do big banks really care if a few thousand depositors pull out their money? Here's why they do.

Banks' business foundation rests on core deposits, including the savings and checking accounts of consumers and businesses, says Dennis Santiago, CEO of Institutional Risk Analytics (IRA), a bank-rating company in Torrance, Calif.

Although it's too early to tell whether many people will actually move their accounts, the site has been mobbed since it went up in late December.

"The outpouring was tremendous," says Mr. Santiago, who set up the bank search tool and agreed to share the data showing those institutions with the IRA's best ratings. In the first 48 hours, after Arianna Huffington went on CNN to promote the campaign, 80,000 people used the tool to find a local bank.


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