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IABC NewsI Bank Transfer Day gains momentum
MADISON, Wis. (10/20/11)--ABC News and other media outlets nationwide are reporting on Bank Transfer Day momentum, in which people are signing up to leave large banks in favor of credit unions on or before Saturday, Nov. 5. To date, more than 51,000 people have signed up for Bank Transfer Day on Facebook, and a cause page for the event has garnered more than 15,000 “likes” (abcnews.com Oct. 19). The options proposed by the Facebook event (the event page was created by art dealer Kristen Christian) include: research your local credit union options; open an account with a credit union that best suits the individual’s needs; cancel all automatic withdrawals and deposits; transfer funds to the new credit union account; and follow the bank’s procedures to close accounts before Nov. 5. The FaceBook event page also has links to help people find credit unions in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Some other credit unions’ marketing efforts regarding Bank Transfer Day, ire at banks for raising debit fees and general dissatisfaction with banks include:
* Two Silicon Valley credit unions in California are sending messages through various media to lure businesses from big national banks (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Online Oct .14). Star One CU, Sunnyvale, has a picture of a tired looking child next to the phrase: “Tired of your bank? Open a checking account with a no-fee debit card.” Meanwhile, San Jose-based Alliance CU, has a rotating message board on its website with messages that include, “When we say free checking, we mean free checking.” * Affinity Plus CU, St. Paul, Minn., has expanded its “Ditch Your Bank” awareness campaign to include billboards, radio and newspaper ads that question new bank debit-card fees. The new ads were launched Oct. 7 and can be seen and heard throughout the area on digital billboards and radio stations, and in newspapers (cuinsight.com Oct. 18). * Some Texas credit unions see an opportunity to woo bank customers because of banks charging monthly fees to use a debit card, Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, told The Dallas Morning News (Oct. 17). Credit unions are marketing their debit cards, and some credit unions are paying members 2% to 3% interest on checking accounts if they agree to use direct deposit, receive electronic financial statements and make 15 debit card transactions per month, Ensweiler told the paper.
The latest credit unions and credit union leagues that have seen an increase in business because of dissatisfaction with bank fees and practices include:
* Charlotte (N.C.) Metro FCU experienced a 350% increase in new online accounts, and a 90% increase in phone calls in the past two weeks because people were unhappy about new fees at big banks (The Charlotte Observer Oct. 19). Also, representatives at Founders FCU, Lancaster, S.C., have been opening new accounts daily because for people leaving big banks, Nicki Nash, Founders senior vice president of marketing and community relations, told the newspaper. * Municipal CU, New York, the largest credit union in the state with 320,000 members, reported an increase in membership because of growing bank fees (PBS Nightly Business Report Oct. 18). While the credit union usually experiences 5% growth in membership annually, it expects to grow 8% this year, and 8% to 10% next year, Kam Wong, Municipal CEO, told PBS. * Patelco CU, Pleasanton, Calif., with 40 branches in Northern California, and Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., with 19 branches in Northern California, experienced a surge in membership because of people withdrawing their money from major banks (East Bay Express Oct. 18).
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