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The report begins: "As the social media-sparked Bank Transfer Day approaches, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that over 650,000 people have joined credit unions in the last four weeks."

Street art at Occupy Wall Street expresses a widely-held sentiment towards banks, 09/22/11. (photo: jamie nyc/flickr)
Street art at Occupy Wall Street expresses a widely-held sentiment towards banks, 09/22/11. (photo: jamie nyc/flickr)

Bank Transfer: 650,000 Answer the Call

By Jon Collins, The Minnesota Independent

06 November 11


This report appears to focus on transfers that occurred in the run up to Bank Transfer Day. However, there is little doubt that the response has been significant. -- ma/RSN


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


s the social media-sparked Bank Transfer Day approaches, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that over 650,000 people have joined credit unions in the last four weeks.

In Minnesota alone, 10,200 joined credit unions between Sept. 29 and Nov. 1, CUNA tells the Minnesota Independent. Credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new accounts since the end of September, CUNA says, reporting that four out of every five credit unions affiliated with the group report that the increase is due to attempts by big banks to raise fees on customers or Bank Transfer Day, a movement birthed by social media that will take place tomorrow.

Bank Transfer Day organizer Kristen Christian explained the logic behind the movement on the group's Facebook page.

"I started this because I felt like many of you do. I was tired - tired of the fee increases, tired of not being able to access my money when I need to, tired of them using what little money I have to oppress my brothers & sisters. So I stood up. I've been shocked at how many people have stood up alongside me." Christian wrote. "Me closing my account all on my lonesome wouldn't have made a difference to these fat cats. But each of you standing up with me ... they can't drown out the noise we'll make."

Big banks like Wells Fargo and US Bank have also taken flak for attempting to impose additions fees on customers who use debt cards, although many of the banks have withdrawn their plans due to public outcry.

Credit unions are member-owned and non-profit; they typically have fewer fees than corporate banks. Credit unions across the country, including some in Minnesota, have been offering special promotions and extending hours in preparation for Bank Transfer Day, CUNA said. Minnesota's Affinity Plus launched the aggressive "ditch your bank" campaign in early October,

"Our struggling economy is not the disease, it's the symptom," according to Affinity Plus' campaign. "There is mounting evidence to prove that big banks with their profit-at-all-costs agenda are actually making our collective disease worse by systematically making choices that undermine the efforts of regulators and ordinary people like us to make changes and get back to a state of health."

Occupy Wall Street has also helped cement the focus on banks. In Minnesota, Occupy Wall Street has targeted big banks for a series of demonstrations focused largely on the banks' role in the foreclosure crisis your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+23 # Mouna 2011-11-06 12:18
I wonder how many bank employees will be losing their jobs? More unemployment? Perhaps the credit unions will get so large that they will hire all the laid-off tellers. (Would that it would be
that easy!)

+63 # giraffee2012 2011-11-06 13:56
BofA is laying off tens of thousands in the next few months - to transfer those jobs to Mexico or India.

I think Wells has announced the same practice.

The problem is that "These big corporations" have had 10+ years to prove that their lower taxes (Bush Tax Breaks and loop holes) are necessary to create jobs -- FACT: We've lost jobs so the only solution is to MAKE THEM PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES.

The GOP Mantra that (ala Norquist) that tax reduction is needed to create jobs - is B.S. IF you are a GOP and believe the GOP/TP -- think of the reality. And their "fixing abortion laws" -- is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. We have laws (Hide Bill) that no TAX $$ will pay for an abortion - so prohibiting abortions is not the business of any government (Local, State, Fed)

VOTE DEM - get absentee ballots and help those who have to get an ID -- in Texas, they just have to buy a gun!
+19 # marind 2011-11-06 16:53
Ah! Should have read your post 1st. I forgot about that. I'm leaving BofA in the next week or so - after 17 years. My partner is leaving them after 40+ years.

With money in a credit union I am hoping that the nice working folks at the branches will be able to find jobs at the credit unions.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:30
Layoffs have been slated for years, people who want to crucify movements would rather run their fingers and mouths than looking at big picture.
+18 # marind 2011-11-06 16:51
I know. I'm leaving Bank of America. The bank is a piece of shit but the people who work locally are all very nice. I DO hope they go to work for the credit unions!
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:31
You do realize their are not that many credit unions as there are banks? If not than the bank was already downsizing before your were thinking of doing anything.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:28
Not everyone left their banks. Republithons did not undo their accounts. Politicians didnot undo but perhaps went to more offshore. many Banks in my area have hired more personnel so before jumping to conclusions...p erhaps a read up of what is going on.
+42 # Barbara K 2011-11-06 12:38
Wow! That's a good start and will help local economies and maybe put some local people to work in the Credit Unions. Go Occupy!

+25 # SueD 2011-11-06 13:06
true patriotism!
+11 # Glen 2011-11-06 13:06
Mouna, I cannot help but wonder about that sort of thing myself - every time there is any mention of boycotts, or whatever. On the other hand, it is great to see some of these organizations receive a bit of payback. Let's just hope there really is no major layoff.
+33 # pernsey 2011-11-06 13:46
I hope it keeps going, as this month goes by more and more individual people will be transferring there money from big banks to credit unions...Occupy!!!

I think if enough individuals stop patronizing these banks, our protest will be heard and they will finally get the message!!

+64 # Mr. Trolohney 2011-11-06 13:48
I believe that 30 to 40 years ago we were told not to quit smoking cigarettes because it would cause layoffs in the tobacco industry.
The point is that when a certain service or product becomes unhealthy or even evil, it must be eliminated or replaced by something better.
+16 # Billy Bob 2011-11-06 14:37
Isn't torturing people and industry as well? Maybe the argument should be that we can't stop torturing people, because we don't want to lay off all of those torturers. Come to think of it, that isn't far off from REAL arguments posed about the industries created specifically around colonizing the Middle-East.

We could use this against them and complain that ending abortion would cause all of the abortion providers to be layed off as well.

It's a goofy argument being made by people who've run out of anything honest to add to the debate.
+5 # NanFan 2011-11-06 15:12
So we should start the fight to end the manufacture of tobacco products we can smoke, the way they are manufactured today: 599 chemicals added, 5,000 chemicals expelled with every exhale of a cig, cigar or pipe tobacco. And the death of 1,200 Americans per year from smoking related illnesses, whether or not they smoke, should be incentive enough.

+2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:34
Perhaps we should look into frakcing for the chemical they are injecting into the wells!
+17 # 2011-11-06 14:15
I'm likely not going to completely eliminate my Wells Fargo account, for a little while yet (it takes a while to get electronic deposits transferred and so forth, but I am opening a new account with a local credit union and will use it as a savings account. The reason is simple - I'm expecting that eventually the TBTF banks WILL fail, because even one such bank failing will activate a chain of counter-party risk that will cause the others to topple. When it happens, it will happen quickly, and you'll see these banks having technical difficulties with their websites and their ATMs, while the doors will be barred at the banks themselves.

The banks HEAR your message, but they ignore it, because giving any credence to that message implies they have been engaged in wrongdoing ... and these megacorporation s NEVER do anything wrong.

It should be an interesting month.
+26 # Billy Bob 2011-11-06 14:33
Score 650,000 for the good guys.
+15 # amye 2011-11-06 14:40
SUPERB!! Such great news!! We are taking back our country, our communities and our lives!!! YEAH!!!
+17 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-06 14:46
This is the tip of what will become a VERY large financial iceberg for the Wall Street banking corprotracy. We can't start shouting accolades yet, however, until we start seeing the 'FAT CATS' starting to turn financially anemic. Thank goodness for "Occupy..." for awakening America!
+11 # NanFan 2011-11-06 15:07
+20 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-06 15:12
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) need to immediately take steps to form and establish their own credit/debit card processing company. Currently all credit unions are contractually bound, directly or indirectly, to the Wall Street Credit Conglomerates. Those ties need to be severed. If it takes legislation at the individual state and national levels, then we credit union patrons need to help get that process started –but you can bet the Wall Street Financial Rapists (WSFRs), will fight like the dickens to prevent that from happening. But … it CAN be done, if we support it – and our credit unions!
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:36
I hope they do not go credit card. Big debts run up so they lose money...Stay as you are CUNA
This movement is hopefully to stop our out spending our budget, like we tell everyone else
+6 # E-Mon 2011-11-06 16:34
The way I understand it, this is how our founding fathers meant it to be. Small localized banks serve the community they're in, as opposed to what we have now... A privately owned central bank with a monopoly over "our" currency. The founding fathers were a lot more educated back then..... We've been dumbed down in regards to how money works. Suggested read.... "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin. It's truly a life changing book that blows away the smoke and shatters the mirrors revealing the men behind the curtain pulling the levers. In this case the Wizards are not exactly Wonderful..... Magically creating (fiat, debt) "money" out of thin air. We need to get back on the yellow brick road.... i.e. Back to the gold standard that "Tricky Dick" (a shill for the banking families) took us off of during his time on office. This is a great start!! Keep it local!! But to solve the real problem we need to abolish the FED.
+1 # John Locke 2011-11-06 17:04
MSM, very good recommendation
+5 # kennecter 2011-11-06 17:10
Taking our individual accounts out of the big banks is not the only way to stand up to the abuses of these banks. In our county, we got the county to remove its (our) money from Bank of America, and put it in a locally owned community bank. This is an account of almost 100 million dollars. The message that was sent along with the withdrawal is that we aren't going to keep our money in a bank that's foreclosing on people's houses. I would encourage other people to try to get your local governments to do the same thing. This was a very easy thing to get passed--it passed the county legislature by almost unanimous vote.
0 # Carbonman1950 2011-11-06 17:12
650,000 SOUNDS like a lot, but can anyone tell us how many get opened in a normal month?
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:38
Why don't you?
+5 # Naithom 2011-11-06 17:23
And, keep in mind, that this doesn't count all the people that moved to smaller, local banks.

650,000 - This should hit them where they live. If you figure an average of $300 in an account that's $195,000,000 that just left the building.
+8 # in deo veritas 2011-11-06 17:32
To hasten the demise of the investment banks that have brought us to this through derivatives and reckless gambling we need to pressure our "reps" in DC to push throiugh the Glass-Steagall Act that will seperate commercial banks from investment banks and prevenmt them from doing business as both. HR1489 is gaining more supporters but we need to get it done before it is too late. Should this take place and be met with a veto by Obama it would make it crytal clear whose side he is on and then he should be impeached. PRESSURE your "reps" and make it clear that their political careers of feeding at the trough are over if they do not support it.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-06 18:41
Calling or emailing your Senators is not as hard as it seems, but letters is a better solution. Get letter campaigns out there.
There is a Petition site that many organizers use. try that also
+2 # Fight the Reich 2011-11-07 04:43
People who think they have small local banks not part of the corporate banking cabals, should goodgle "their bank name"+owned ; They might be quite surprised. I found that my bank in Hawaii, advertised as small, local and friendly, actually a subsidiatry of the planet's biggest bank & banking investment group BNP Paribas S.A, based in Paris, with smaller subsidiaries all around the planet and is taking a beating in the current euro crisis.
+3 # Billy Bob 2011-11-07 08:39
GOOD POINT. They're hiding who owns them for a good reason. I found that out several years ago, when my "locally owned" bank eventually made it more obvious that they had been Wells Fargo all along.

I had been having separate problems with Wells Fargo the whole time. That's when I closed that account and moved to a credit union. I still have one credit card I haven't done that with.
0 # boudreaux 2011-11-07 11:30
I have kept an account with a credit union in LA and have one in Chase here in TX where I am now, chase hasn't been making any changes to their banking policies as of yet but when they do, I'll head on over to the credit union. Trouble is that I'm in TX right now and it will be a little problem to drive to La to make all of the changes that I need to make..but if the need arises, I'll get er done somehow...
+3 # happycamper690 2011-11-07 12:35
Far better than closing your account (which is still useful) is to sell any mutual funds you have run by the banks. These are plenty of funds from Fidelity, Vanguard and T. Rowe Price, to name a few, that are good alternatives. A run on the funds will depress prices and hurt the banks and brokerage houses much more than withdrawal of checking accounts.
+1 # jamminon 2011-11-09 17:49
According to this article on the CUNA site, 650,000 is more than their new membership for the entire year of 2010. So, a "normal" month last year would have been about 50,000 new members. A "normal" day, under 2000 new members.

So the 40K new members on Bank Transfer Day was more than 20 times last year's norm.
0 # jamminon 2011-11-09 18:23
I dug a little more. This PDF on the site shows that the statement of 650K new members being more than all of 2010 is only true if you're just looking at Federal Credit Unions, and leaving State ones out.

It shows that since end of 2007, credit unions have averaged 137K new members per month, and $4.557 Billion in new deposits per month, so last month we saw a lot of small accounts transferred. The # of new members was 5 times the norm, but the amount of new deposits was the same as usual.

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