‘Bank Transfer Day’ a Success?
Remember when we told you about Bank Transfer Day back on October 26? A nice Philly Occupier named Christian was strolling around Dilworth Plaza with a homemade cardboard sign which read “November 5th: Bank Transfer Day.” He’d heard about Bank Transfer Day—now this past Saturday in which people transferred their cash from large banks to smaller ones and credit unions—from a Los Angeles woman named Kristen Christian, who came up with the idea and pushed it on the Internet, gaining a final tally of more than 86,000 Facebook “likes.”
And then it happened. According to Bloomberg, credit unions attracted more than 40,000 new clients on Bank Transfer Day, with an average of about $2,000 per new member. Since September 29, when Bank of America announced their $5 per month debit card fee, the Credit Union National Association says more than 650,000 clients have joined credit unions, about $4.5 billion in new savings accounts. BofA has since recalled the idea.
Also according to CUNA, Pennsylvania credit unions added about 25,000 new members and $173 million in new deposits since the BofA announcement.
Obviously, the national action has not crippled banks around the country. Far from it — but the message was sent. (According to a report at the Christian Science Monitor, some banks may have actually been helped by the action, as they essentially got rid of their less profitable accounts.)
Bank Transfer Day was unaffiliated with the Occupy Wall Street, though K. Christian did meet with several of its leaders. And many Occupations took up the cause.