Ever since the Occupy Wall Street protests began over a month ago, several groups have been organizing and marching on the largest banks in the country, i.e. Chase, CitiBank, and Bank of America. The marches in every city culminate in protesters withdrawing their money from the banks and putting it either under their mattress, with online banks that do not charge fees, or into credit unions. This is leaving the major banks vulnerable, having to contend with a serious cash flow problem.
In order to entice the protesters to keep their money in their banks or at least stop the hemorrhaging resulting from these withdrawals, three major banks have come up with a marketing plan that they think may just woo those depositors back into their banks. It’s called the “Can We Still Be Friends” interest-bearing savings account with perks.
Through this program, if a protester puts their money back into the bank, they will receive ½ of ½ percent interest annually and a patriotic coin purse. In addition, the lobbies of all participating banks will have safety-stem lollipops just like in the good old days and in flavors the protestors crave, such as cherry, orange, grape and lime. Several cases of the lollipops have been anonymously donated to the Organize Wall Street protests in an attempt at a peace offering.
“We feel their pain,” said Senior Vice President of Bank Relations, Fernando Villanovo, while strains of Todd Rundgren’s Can We Still be Friends played in the background.
The banks have hired the best public relations firm in the business to, in Villanova’s words, “turn this Occupy America thing around before it just gets too out of hand.”
Asked if the offer of a couple cents a year on a savings account, a cheap vinyl coin purse and flavored lollipops don’t work, what can the bank do next to turn things around? Villanova said, he didn’t know.
“I know they want us to pay back the bailout money, but quite frankly, that is a no can do for us. We spent it on last year’s bonuses,” he said. “If you think these protesters are angry, see how angry our executives get if there are no big bonuses this year.”
Villanova says the banks are truly between a rock and a hard spot right now and are asking the protesters to please see their dilemma and cut them some slack.
No word yet if anyone is falling for the “Can We Still Be Friends” campaign, but word on the street is the lollipops are all gone.