Moving money: Occupiers withdraw from big banks
Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 19:11
If you type "occupy the banks" into Google, you will get about 124 million results, so it might come as a surprise to find out Bank Transfer Day was not an act of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Organizer Kristen Christian used Facebook not only to promote Saturday, Nov. 5 as Bank Transfer Day, but also to let the more 60,600 people who "like" the page know while the movement "acknowledges the enthusiasm from Occupy Wall Street" it declines to endorse it.
Even though the two forms of protest might not be associated, they were born from the same sense of frustration and willingness to take action against big banks like Bank of America.
Since the highly contested, and then reversed, policy announcement on Sept. 29, by Bank of America that debit card users would be charged a five dollar a month fee, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA)estimates 650,000 new credit union members have been added.
New accounts are flooding in at an average of 20,000 new members each business day.
According to a CUNA press release issued on Nov. 8 , more than 40,000 of those new accounts were opened on Bank Transfer Day, which accounted for approximately 80 million dollars in savings deposits on that day alone.
On a local level, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union reported a 92 percent increase in new members during the month of October as compared to the same month last year.
Thanks in part to high profile movements like Occupy Wall Street and Bank Transfer Day, people are beginning to take a better look at where they put their money.
But if you were one of those who moved your money from Bank of America to a credit union over the past six weeks, don't think they, or any other of the so called big banks are shedding any tears at your departure.
Low balance bank accounts cost more money for the banks to maintain. In some ways, closing your account might have done them a favor.
In my experience with credit unions, a customer is not simply an account—but rather a member.
When you bank with a credit union, your money helps grow the local economy.
Big banks might try to persuade you into believing their services are better or more convenient, but only you can decide if the fees they charge are worth it for your needs.
After all, in a recent survey by J. D. Power and Associates, Bank of America ranked lowest in customer satisfaction.
Why would anyone want to pay more for less?
Jenny is a junior majoring in environmental engineering. She loves the Boston Red Sox, riding roller coasters, writing poetry and watching science fiction programs.