Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Million Americans Leave Big Banks for Credit Unions // Bank Transfer Day Success

After Bank of America announced plans to charge customers $5 to access their own money through debit cards, one million people have apparently dumped big banks in favor of local credit unions. Last month, a single disgruntled customer launched a Facebook campaign encouraging people to leave large banks, and the effort grew into an organized push for a "Bank Transfer Day" yesterday. In the days preceding the big action, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced a massive spike in new members:
At least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions in the past four weeks, reflecting consumers' reactions to rising fees at banks, according to a survey by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

CUNA estimates that credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts. More than four in every five credit unions experiencing growth since Sept. 29 attributed the growth to consumer reaction to new fees imposed by banks, or a combination of consumer reactions to the new bank fees plus the social media-inspired Bank Transfer Day....
ABC News upgraded the number of people leaving big banks to one million in a recent televised news report (click the image below to view the segment).

Click on the image above to watch the news clip.
Forbes had this take on the potential symbolism of the Bank Transfer Day success:
If awareness is the goal, then supporters of Bank Transfer Day can pop the champagne already.
Bank Transfer Day is an orchestrated call to action for consumers to switch from their for-profit bank to not-for-profit credit unions before November 5. With its media bullhorn and measurable results of credit union growth, Bank Transfer Day is arguably not just a one day event; it signals the start of an on-going movement from which we may see ripple effects in the coming year.... 
With the sheer volume of media coverage and credit union mobilization, Bank Transfer Day is finally providing fed-up, frustrated consumers with what they need: a real course of action.
 Less talk more walk: Are consumers going to start voting with their feet? Up next: Chick-fil-A.

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