Credit Unions Add 650,000 Members and $4.5 Billion as Customers Leave Big Banks


On the eve of “Bank Transfer Day,” the grass-roots backlash against higher fees, U.S. credit unions say they have added more than 650,000 members and $4.5 billion in new deposits in the past month. That’s 50,000 more new accounts than for all of 2010.
Ahead of Saturday’s ‘Bank Transfer Day,’ a protester camped out Wednesday at a Bank of America ATM in Oakland. The bank-switch campaign was launched in late September after B of A’s now-abandoned plan to charge $5 a month for debit cards.

The report comes from the Credit Union National Association, the largest U.S. trade group.
“Many credit unions across the nation — whether they are realizing new members or not — are making special efforts to tap the surging interest in credit unions,” the group’s president and CEO, Bill Cheney, said in a news release.
The stampede followed public outcry over new fees from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. A small-business owner in Southern California launched “Bank Transfer Day” on Facebook after Bank of America’s Sept. 29 announcement that it would begin charging $5 a month for debit cards. Faced with customer condemnation and defections, B of A on Monday dropped that plan, saying it was in “response to customer feedback and the changing competitive marketplace,” The Financial Times notes.
Source: USA Today | Michael Winter

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