WASHINGTON (3/12/13)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney was quoted in a Bloomberg/Business Week feature, also appearing in Sunday's Washington Post, on how Bank of America's rush in late 2011 to impose a $5 a month debit card fee backfired and drove consumers to join credit unions by the thousands.
Cheney was among those asked to comment for a feature story on B of A CEO Brian Moynihan. The feature chronicled missteps and rebounds by the mega-bank's CEO since he came on board in the wake of the financial crisis.
CUNA's Cheney noted in the article that the bank fee was a major miscalculation that sparked the consumer-led Bank Transfer Day, which allowed credit unions to gain hundreds of thousands of new account holders in the month after the $5 fee was announced (and later rescinded by B of A). "Clearly, it was a strategic error, especially since they backed down from it," Cheney said.
The article noted that the big bank's fee decision was "was met with protests at branches from Los Angeles to Boston."
CUNA has highlighted that credit unions reported phenomenal membership growth in 2011, with the boost from Bank Transfer Day, and that growth has continued to date, indicating that consumers trust credit unions with their financial business.