For Immediate Release
Ali Jost, (202) 730-7159
Carlyn Foster, (954) 632-0795
Statement on Bank of America's Failure to Pass Stress Test
WASHINGTON - SEIU
Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger released the following statement on the
federal government’s Stress Tests for Bank of America.
“Today’s stress test results prove
what concerned shareholders, taxpayers and bank employees have been
saying all along—Bank of America is a sinking ship that needs more than
just a change in captain to address fundamentally unsustainable and
irresponsible business practices that are bad for consumers, bad for
employees and dangerous for our larger economy.
“Bank of America has already
received $45 billion in TARP funds and now taxpayers could be on the
hook for $33.9 billion, plus another $150 billion in guarantees to
bailout the bank for its own bad behavior. Instead of cleaning house
and finding substantive means to reform a business model that was
already in the red, Bank of America gobbled up other financial
institutions and continued to payout $5.2 million in bonuses. This is
not smart economics.
“Within the last week, tens of
thousands of taxpayers, bank workers, and community groups took action
across the country to collect nearly 100,000 ‘Taxpayer Proxies’
outlining the steps Bank of America needs to take to restore public
trust in the bank and help turn our economy around.
“It’s time for Bank of America to
do what’s right and take responsibility for the damage it has caused.
Bank of America has been called a failure by the government, taxpayers,
employees and shareholders. After failing our economy, it is time
taxpayers have a greater say in banking reform and for Bank of America
to be a partner instead of a toxic asset as we work to create real
solutions to the banking crisis.”
of SEIU’s ongoing effort to reform Bank of America and the overall
financial industry, actions in the past weeks include:
- Yesterday SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger sent a letter to new Bank of America Board Chair Dr. Walter Massey calling for action on taxpayer demands and requesting a meeting.
- Collecting nearly 100,000 “Taxpayer Proxies” in the days leading up to the Bank of America shareholder meeting demanding the bank:
- Fire Ken Lewis;
- Commit to real financial reform;
- Stop consumer abuses like abusive fees and predatory lending;
- Provide affordable healthcare for all employees; and
bank workers voice on the job to protect consumers and improve living
conditions and wages by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Launching a video illustrating the harmful practices Bank of America followed under Ken Lewis and calling on him to be fired.
- Mobilizing tens of thousands of Americans to participate in a national Taxpayer Day of Action
at Bank of America branches in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles,
San Francisco, and nearly 100 other cities to collect “Taxpayer
Proxies” and demand change at Bank of America. View Photos. Watch Video of SEIU President Andy Stern Speaking at NYC Rally.
- Leading a delegation of workers, taxpayers, and community allies to deliver the “Taxpayer Proxies” directly to the Bank of America annual shareholder meeting. Watch Video. View Photos. Read SEIU’s Liveblog.
- Responding to the decision made by shareholders to oust Lewis as chair by reiterating taxpayer demands. Read AP article.
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.