Don’t Bank on Amazon Destruction
JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are some of the largest U.S. banks financing climate chaos in the Brazilian Amazon and around the world. These and other big banks and financial institutions also enable the oil and gas industry’s activities in the Amazon, which are responsible for many Indigenous rights violations and environmental harms. To protect the rainforest, Indigenous rights, and the climate, the Amazon biome must be the next place these banks cease their destructive investments.
Banking doesn’t have to contribute to environmental and human rights crimes. That is why banking options that exclude large banks like Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and others are a great alternative for anyone who wants to make an impact to support an alternative and environmentally safe economy.
It’s time to cut the cord, and we’ll show you how to do it.
While it sounds like a pain, switching your bank is far easier than you might think. And by choosing one of various new digital offerings, you'll likely find that you’ll save more money and gain in other conveniences and features too! And, you can read on to learn how our nonprofit partner Amazon Watch is working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples throughout the Amazon to pressure financial institutions to stop investing in destructive industries in Indigenous ancestral territories. This is how we turn the tide on rainforest destruction, together!
Curious how your action supports Indigenous solutions for the Amazon?
Instead of banking on Amazon destruction, you are taking clear action for the rainforest and for the more than 511 Indigenous nations who steward and defend it. Indigenous peoples are advancing solutions to permanently protect the remaining 80% of the rainforest by 2025. Recognizing Indigenous land rights is the best way to protect the rainforest and our climate, and your solidarity makes a real difference. By closing out your account with the banks most complicit in funding Amazon destruction, you are taking a concrete action to shift toward a system where our money is not invested in Indigenous rights abuses and destruction of the world’s most bioculturally diverse tropical rainforest.
We’re proud to partner with Amazon Watch, who has worked in solidarity with Indigenous peoples since 1996 to defend their ancestral territories, advance climate justice, and insist that Indigenous autonomy and self-determination are respected. Together with Indigenous partners throughout the Amazon Basin, they are carrying out campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.
Before Closing Your JPMorgan Chase or Citigroup Account
There are a couple of things you should do before closing your account with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, or other banks funding Amazon destruction. Don’t jump the gun by closing your account too early. Make sure you take these necessary steps so that important things don’t fall through the cracks.
1. Open your new account at a climate-positive bank
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify your new financial institution. Whether it’s banking on climate with Atmos or supporting your local economy (credit union or community bank), there are lots of options out there to support your values.
Once you have identified your new financial institution, open that account. Opening a bank account has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. Many digital offerings are designed for your convenience and usually enable new checking and savings accounts in just a few minutes. Look for an option with no monthly maintenance or service fees.
Amazon Watch is grateful to Atmos for providing a banking option that serves as an alternative for people who want to ensure their money is not being used to fund rainforest destruction, but instead support climate-positive solutions to protect rainforests.
2. Fund your new account
You don’t need to close your old account before using your new account! Funding your new account allows you to order your debit cards and start using your new account immediately.
The important thing to remember is to leave some money in that old account for a short while to keep covering those recurring bills before you transfer them over. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to cut ties completely soon enough! Unless your new financial institution has an ATM on every street corner or an ATM finder easily accessible, you may want to keep that account for easy ATM or cash deposit access until you get used to your new setup.
3. Transfer recurring bills and deposits
You probably have some recurring bills attached to your old checking account or subscriptions that auto-deduct from it. Take a look at a recent bank statement to see what subscriptions are auto-deducting and make a list.
Pro Tip: It might also be a good time to look at your credit card statement if you have one of those too! For many people, it’s great practice to review these statements regularly to ensure you’re not paying for services you aren’t using anymore.
Once you have your list, start moving those recurring bills over to your new account. You don’t need to do this all at once if it’s a drag, or better yet, pop on a netflix show in the background. Chances are you’ll be able to get through this step before the credits roll.
Remember to make sure you have enough in your new account to cover the expenses.
4. Move your money
Once your new account is open, you’ve started to use it as your primary source of payment and you’ve moved over all of your automatic debits and credits, it’s time to move the rest of your money. This is the last step you’ll need to take before closing that old fossil-fuel funding bank account.
Moving your money is easy in the new age of digital banking. You can send your account balance to your new account with an ACH. Many new digital banking options offer ACH transfers for free!
Closing Your Old Bank Account
Congratulations, you’re nearly there! Now that you have moved your money and have set up your recurring debits and credits in your new account, you can finally move to permanently close your bank account. With a zero balance and no recent account activity, closing your account will be a breeze.
Customer service representatives may try to incentivize you to keep your account open. Too little, too late, No thanks! Here are a few ways to close your account.
Closing Your Bank Account Online
If you decide to close your account online, log into your account via their online banking portal and click on the Secure Message Center on the menu.
You may need to send an email to request an account closure, and then you might have to wait for a couple of business days for a reply. When you receive the follow-up email, there should be a step-by-step guide on how to finish off the closing process.
If you just don’t want to wait a couple of days or suffer through an automated decision tree (and we understand!), you can always close your account immediately over the phone or in a branch.
Closing Your Bank Account Over the Phone
JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have customer service representatives working all hours every day of the week, which makes closing your account by phone an easy option. Call JPMorgan Chase’s personal banking service number (1-800-935-9935) and Citigroup (1-800-374-9700) to connect with a service agent. Inform the agent that you wish to close your account with them. If you’re on a tight schedule, JPMorgan Chase also allows you to schedule a phone call with a customer service representative.
Closing your Bank Account at a Branch
If you’re feeling spicy and prefer to close your account in-person, head over to your local branch during business hours. Make sure you bring a valid government-issued ID, and remember to zero out your account balance before you head in. Let them know you’re closing your account to align your finances with the environment.
How much does it cost to close an account?
It doesn’t cost anything to close a bank account, but it might cost you money to keep that account if they’re charging you monthly maintenance fees. You can transfer money out of your account by way of ACH. Consider a new option that offers free ACH transfers and no monthly service fees.
Will closing my bank account affect my credit score?
Rest assured that closing your bank account will not affect your credit score in any way.
Saying goodbye to big banks can be quite liberating and save you a bundle of cash. While you’re closing that account, consider using an eco-friendly banking provider that does not invest in climate destruction or support Indigenous rights violations. Atmos is building the most climate-positive banking option on the planet. With Atmos, you can maximize your positive environmental and social impact while benefiting from higher returns, rewards and leading technology.
Thank you for supporting this Indigenous-led movement for the Amazon and our climate! You can follow along with Amazon Watch and Indigenous partners on email and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and TikTok. If you’re considering switching to an Atmos banking account, you can choose to support Amazon Watch at the same time!