Bank Transfer Day Draws A Big Crowd
Tens of thousands of Americans joined credit unions on November 5th, 2011 as the Bank Transfer Day movement encouraged consumers to move their money out of big banks.
Credit unions raked in 40,000 new members, the culmination of a social media push known as Bank Transfer Day, according to a survey from the Credit Union National Association. Eighty percent of larger credit unions signed up new members, the survey reports, and credit unions overall added $80 million in new savings account funds Saturday.
At least 650,000 customers joined credit unions between September 29 — the day Bank of America announced it would charge customers $5 to use their debit cards for purchases — and the first week of November, according to a separate CUNA survey. That’s more than joined credit unions in all of 2010.
The Bank Transfer Day push touched a nerve with consumers who were fed up with banks charging fees for once-free services. One-third of customers said in a survey last month that they would leave their bank if it started charging a debit card fee. Many banks ultimately back tracked on proposed charges after witnessing the consumer outcry.
Bank of America dropped its plan to charge the fee earlier this month, after customers, lawmakers and even President Obama derided the bank. Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and other regional banks also scrapped plans to charge debit card fees last month, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Consumers’ decisions to leave the banks boosted credit unions across the country…credit untions saw a total of $4.5 billion in deposits.
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