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Claremont ready to move money to ‘West’

The council’s handling of the tree policy was one of several council decisions appreciated by Claremont residents present at Tuesday’s meeting. In addition, the council approved a 5-year contract with Bank of the West. Occupy Claremont members were pleased with the decision after having pushed the city to move its money from Bank of America to a local credit union since early 2012. The city expects to save up to $14,000 annually beginning with the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

“How’s that for a win-win situation?” said Karl Hilgert.

City officials initiated their request for a new banking institution in December as directed by the council in April. A long list of banking institution requirements were drawn up, including input from members of Occupy Claremont. Among requirements was at least a satisfactory ranking as determined by the California Reinvestment Act, which encourages banks to help meet the needs of low income borrowers and to reduce discriminatory lending practices. Of the 11 banks that responded to the city’s request for bids, Bank of the West “most completely meets the requirements,” according to Finance Director Adam Pirrie to the agreement of council members.

“We wanted to commit to making sure we were doing something safe with the peoples’ money but at the same time doing something that was more sustainable and ethical than what we’ve done in the past,” said Councilmember Sam Pedroza. “Like the gentleman said, this is a win-win situation.”

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