“Big banks” saw a spike in traffic over the last month, which peaked over the weekend as Americans from coast-to-coast closed their accounts, withdrew their money, and went elsewhere as part of the Bank Transfer Day movement.
With November 5 being touted as Bank Transfer Day, the final day in a month-long campaign to shift money out of the big banks and into smaller credit unions, the total tally of those that participated has been calculated. Leading up to Bank Transfer Day, $4.5 billion was taken out of major financial institutions.
The figure comes from a new report from ABC News revealing that credit unions accumulated around 650,000 new customers in the month of October.
Bank Transfer Day grew out of the Occupy Wall Street movement as thousands of American citizens took to rallying in New York against income inequality and the unfair distribution of wealth.
The Bank Transfer Day movement quickly became a hot topic across the web and in Occupy circles and, with the help of the hacking collective known as Anonymous, grew into a massive campaign.
In the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day, approximately 80 percent of the credit unions in the U.S. saw an increase in membership, with nearly 50 percent of states experiencing swells of over 10,000 among their credit unions.
According to the Credit Union National Association, many of the small branches across America offered “switch kits” to existing members to give to friends and family who were thinking about switching over.
Bill Cheney, president and CEO of the CUNA, said many credit unions were even offering up cash incentives to recruiters and new members as well.
“Regardless of how many people joined credit unions Saturday, there is a big new awareness of credit unions as not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by their members. That is the credit union difference we’ve worked to let people know about all along,” said Mary Beth King, communications director for the Credit Union Association of New Mexico.
- Guess How Much Money Angry Customers Moved Out Of Banks In Support Of Bank Transfer Day (businessinsider.com)
- Credit unions 101 – How switching to a credit union can save you money (forbes.com)
- Bank Transfer Day: How much impact did it have? – Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com)