Bank Takes Stand for Private Citizens With Anti-Eminent Domain Policy

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. I guess the municipalities may have to rethink their plans a bit. I hope that many (if not all) financial organizations will get on board. I don’t know though. There’s always someone with money who is sleazy enough to do the wrong thing in order to earn a buck. Maybe the Supreme Court will revisit this and overturn their previous decision.

(AgapePress) – One of the nation’s top ten banks announced last week that it no longer plans to loan money for commercial projects placed on land taken from private citizens through eminent domain.
The Associated Press quotes BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive John Allison as calling the idea of the government taking a citizen’s property for private use “extremely misguided. And recently on Fox News, he placed his feelings about the practice in even stronger terms, equating it with immorality.
According to Allison, BB&T realized loaning money for development under those circumstances was the worst kind of contrast to the dreams of the clientele that the company has served from its beginnings. “Not long ago we were really an eastern North Carolina farm bank,” he notes, “and we primarily dealt with small businesses and farms. We realized from feedback from that client base that this is a gut-level issue — that people’s homes are very important things.”
The bank spokesman says he has seen eminent domain hurt private property owners under the guise of the public good. However, he observes, “A lot of times … what somebody says is for the public good really means it’s good for them and maybe not so good for you.”
Allison told Fox News that BB&T’s eminent domain policy is a stand the company is taking on principle. “We believe that one of the most fundamental principles on which this country was founded was the concept of individual rights — and the most important of those rights is the right to private property,” he noted.
“Our whole free-enterprise economic system is based upon that right,” the BB&T executive contended. “We think it’s morally wrong for the government to use the power of eminent domain to take the private property of one individual for the benefit of another private individual.”
Allison says he has encouraged executives at other financial institutions to take the same stance as BB&T has taken toward eminent domain-based developments. BB&T operates in more than 1,400 branches across eleven U.S. states.

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