ONTARIO, Calif. (11/30/11)--Credit unions are reaping the benefits of consumer dissatisfaction with big banks and the positive media coverage generated by Bank Transfer Day, according to a recent survey conducted by the California Credit Union League.
The poll indicates sustained increases in membership and deposits since the Sept. 29 announcement that Bank of America would begin charging a $5 monthly fee for use of its debit card. Although that decision was later rescinded, and Bank Transfer Day--created by a California businesswoman to encourage consumers to move their money on Nov. 5--has passed, consumers are still moving their money to credit unions in record numbers.
The results of the poll were reported in the Tuesday Sacramento Bee on Nov. 29.
The league's survey indicated an estimated 160,408 new members have joined California credit unions between Oct. 1 and mid-November. That averages to 26,735 per week--a 72% increase over the weekly average of about 15,500 for the first nine months of 2011.
Deposits at California credit unions also have increased an estimated $317,122,662 during the same period. That averages $52.8 million in new deposits per week, as compared with the weekly average of about $30.7 million for the first nine months of the year.
"Consumers continue to make a statement about their frustration with big banks by taking their financial business to a credit union, where fees are lower and service is better," said said Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the league. "We are encouraged to see that the peak levels of increases in membership and deposits we saw in October, a result of heightened awareness about credit unions, have continued throughout November.
"Word continues to spread about the benefits credit unions provide for consumers and small businesses," added Dykstra. "We'll know over the coming months whether the momentum from frustration with big banks will translate into continued increases in membership and deposits."