650,000 new [credit union] members ahead of Bank Transfer Day
WASHINGTON (11/4/11)—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).
They have joined credit unions since Sept. 29, when Bank of America (BofA) unveiled its plans to charge $5 a month for debit cards. The public outcry the past month has forced BofA and other big banks to reconsider their debit fees.
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. Bank Transfer Day, which is tomorrow, urges consumers to switch from big banks to smaller credit unions and community banks.
“The results indicate that consumers are clearly making a smarter choice by moving to credit unions where, on average, they will save about $70 a year in fewer or no fees, lower rates on loans and higher return on savings,” said CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.
Cheney added that studies have shown people living paycheck to paycheck save even more at a credit union than the average financial institution customer, as they use more credit union services.
Meanwhile ABC News is reporting that 1,000,000 Americans have transferred their bank accounts to credit unions. All of this ahead of “Bank Transfer Day” which took place today and will continue on in the coming weeks.