Searching for an Honest Bank

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger.

Late last year, just before Bank of America closed a deal to buy a failing Merrill Lynch, the BoA's executives signed off on $4 billion in bonus payments to Merrill Lynch executives and senior employees. This, after we taxpayers had poured more than $45 billion into saving these incompetent and/or corrupt people from their financial follies.

Merrill and BoA have done their best to stonewall the public from learning any details about this sleaze, including some very suspicious timing. And these bonuses were only a relatively small portion of the overall shower of cash that rained on people in an industry that did more to ruin our economy than any crew since the 1920s.

One of my projects keeps its money at Bank of America. I want to move the money to a bank that behaves more honorably. This isn't just a moral issue, but also a financial one. An institution that behaves the way BoA has done in this situation, among many others, can't be trusted.

It's not just a business account that I want to put in an institution that I have more reason to trust. I'm also looking for such a place to put my own personal accounts, which are currently at Citibank, an institution with less-than-zero credibility at this point.

I'm looking for ideas on a) what constitutes an honest bank; and b, if such an entity exists, what specific services (such as electronic transfers and bill payments) are bottom-line requirements.

Thoughts? Suggestions?