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Hate your bank? Saturday is 'Bank Transfer Day'

Big banks may have scrapped plans to charge fees for debit card use, but many customers are still angry and taking their money elsewhere.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 4, 2011 1:42PM

This post comes from Jennifer Waters at partner site MarketWatch.


MarketWatch on MSN MoneyIf you've been thinking about firing your bank, now might be the time. A handful of grassroots groups are mobilizing people to abandon mega-banks for what one organizer calls "more friendly" smaller banks and credit unions.


Show time is Saturday, Nov. 5, dubbed "Bank Transfer Day" by its organizer, Kristen Christian, an art gallery owner in California who started a Facebook movement after a handful of banks -- most notably Bank of America -- attempted to slap fees on debit-card use.  Her movement has garnered support from consumer-advocacy groups and pressured big banks to kill debit-card fee plans. Post continues below.

"People are sufficiently outraged by how they've been treated by big banks," said Adam Levin, chairman of "There had to be an equivalent of a national movement to get people more aware of local banks, community banks and credit unions."


Christian is using Facebook to invite people to shift their funds from for-profit banking institutions to not-for-profit credit unions by Nov. 5.


"Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will always remember the 5th of November," Christian wrote on the Bank Transfer Day wall.


As of Thursday, nearly 36,000 Facebook users "like" the concept while more than 73,000 indicated they will be "attending" Christian’s "party."


Meanwhile, an estimated 650,000 consumers have joined credit unions nationwide since Sept. 29, according to a statement on Thursday from the Credit Union National Association or CUNA, a credit-union advocacy group. That’s the day Bank of America announced its debit-card fee.

Credit unions saw savings-account deposits grow by $4.5 billion in that time, "likely from the new members and existing members shifting their funds," CUNA said.


The Bank Transfer Day idea has caught the attention of progressive activist group MoveOn and some segments of the Occupy Wall Street movement, some of whom are calling for a Move Your Money "day of action" this Saturday. That’s a reference to the Move Your Money Project, started by Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington in 2009.


Anonymous, the hacker group, is in on the action, too, by supporting a bank transfer among its followers.


Christian noted on her Facebook wall that while she "acknowledges the enthusiasm" from Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street, her movement "was neither inspired by, derived from nor organized" by either group. Nor does she endorse any activities those groups conduct.


Bank Transfer Day has prompted other groups, too, such as College Bank Transfer Day in which college students and recent graduates are urging students and universities to move their money by Nov. 5 from what they call "large, irresponsible banks" that they blame for a "wide range of economic problems" into local financial institutions.


The New Bottom Line, a coalition of community organizations, congregations, labor unions and others, has partnered with a group called The Other 98% to encourage cities and other institutions to also turn to local and community banks and credit unions in a Move Our Money divestment campaign.


Good news for small banks, credit unions

Credit unions and small banks, both bricks-and-mortar and online, have been taking advantage of the consumer outcry with a number of promotions. EverBank Direct, an online full-service bank that has branches only in its home state of Florida, is offering $60 to new customers. It also carries what it calls a "yield pledge" that promises to keep the interest rate on checking accounts in the top 5% of competitive rates.


"It’s definitely to highlight the different value proposition," said Frank Trotter, president of EverBank. "We think of it as the 'our-bags-fly-free' approach to banking."


The movement appears to be helping some banks and credit unions. BECU, which claims to be the largest credit union in Washington, said it’s tallied some 16,000 new members in October, a 200% hike from the average month.


PerkStreet Financial, a financial institution that parks your money in an FDIC-insured bank, saw its new checking accounts swell some 100% Sept. 30, the day after Bank of America announced it would charge the $5 monthly fee on debit cards, and then another 100% over that increase on Oct. 1.


Even if you miss the Nov. 5 deadline, credit unions and small banks will continue to keep the movement alive by reaching out to bank-averse customers for some time.


It’s not difficult to fire your bank. But think hard before you do. Do the math on what you might save versus what inconveniences you might endure and compare the alternatives when making a final choice.


More on MarketWatch and MSN Money:


Nov 4, 2011 4:26PM

Our country has gotten into the shape it is in because we did not protect what our forefathers fought for.  They gave us a country to be proud of, where we could live free and, if we were willing to work hard, could have the American dream.  It was handed to us and we didn’t take care of it.  We couldn’t be inconvenienced when we saw injustices.  When politicians and greedy corporation took more and more from us, we complained but did nothing to try to stop it.  These movements are long overdue and I hope they will continue ‘til they have the desired effect.  I also hope our children and grandchildren don’t squander away what has been done for them, like we did.  Take down a couple of giants and the rest will fall in line.  Keep it up.

Nov 4, 2011 5:19PM
Nice to see people starting to realize that people really do have power. We dont have to just bend over and take whatever these large corporations try to cram down our throats.
Nov 4, 2011 3:42PM

Right on! Hit 'em where it hurts!

I moved my money months ago when Wachovia became Wells Fargo.

If you can't move your money Saturday, do it as soon as possible.


Nov 4, 2011 4:59PM
I've been a credit union banking member for over 20 yr. I would highly recommend to everyone.
Nov 4, 2011 4:07PM
LOL I was actually going to close my accounts at BOA tomorrow anyway!!!  I have already opened a checking account with USAA and about three weeks ago I changed my paycheck to deposit from my BOA to my USAA checking account.  This morning I checked my USAA account and saw that my paycheck was there. :D:D:D:D:D  Just moved my NetFlix and will move my other recurring accounts when I get home today. 

I have been reading information and reviews on closing an account with BOA and somewhere it said that if a recurring transaction occurs within 30 days of the close date, then it could reopen the account.  When I read that it got me thinking that it they reopen the account and pay the vendor, does that mean that my account will automatically go in the red because there wasn't anything there and they slap on an insufficient funds fee as well.????    That could be a big problem if that happens after Saturday. 

Oh well still moving LOL  It is time to say FU to BOA!!!!!

Nov 4, 2011 7:26PM
I have belonged to a credit union as long as I have had money that was called my own for about 30 years. I could never understand why anyone would have their money in a bank, 0.04% interest on accounts, they charge crazy rates for loans, charge for everything under the sun and don't give back to their customers. The banks make money on your loans, make money by lending your money, wake up and stop supporting their CEOs and shareholders life styles while they find ways to charge you more and more for storing your money. One of my biggest mistakes was having a BOA credit card a long time ago, talk about sly, crooked thieving bastards.
Nov 4, 2011 6:13PM
I have been with the Credit Union for over 30 years. They are the greatest.
Nov 4, 2011 4:58PM
Why do we need a Bank Transfer Day ? I think most of us can, and have already made, these decisions on our own.  That's why BoA, SunTrust, and others have dropped their fees. But  don't blink - I'm pretty sure they're already looking at other, less obvious, ways to get your money.
Nov 4, 2011 5:15PM
So far my Bank has remained FREE Checking, No fees, No ATM transaction fees unless I use another Bank's ATM, BUT if they start charging fees, I'll look elsewhere
Nov 4, 2011 4:09PM
Love this - one Denver CU is giving away gift cards to only local businesses when people open accounts. Search DCCUpons
Nov 4, 2011 7:13PM

I moved to a credit union when Chase took over the bank I had dealt with years.  So far I haven't had one bit of trouble from them.  When I have a question, I go in and speak to a HUMAN and it doesn't cost me a thing.  I can check my balance, debits and deposits on my PC and it doesn't cost me anything.  The money I have in savings is invested locally and not somewhere on the other side of the country. 


Tomorrow is "Bank Transfer Day."  Remember:  Banks take in $875M per month in debit fees alone.  Tired of paying these fees?  Move to a credit union or local bank.  Someone in our history once said:  If we don't hang together surely we shall be hanged separately.   The ball is in your court guys.

Nov 4, 2011 7:14PM

I pulled all my monies out of a well known bank,everytime that I had dealings with them it was as if they were doing me a favor by having my cash. my credit union pays me interest on my checking account,they also have a user friendly web site.  tell the big banks to suck it. If one doesn't like the credit unions then fine,in my book you have vested interest in the big banks and are scared sh#tless of the stock price tanking

Nov 4, 2011 4:24PM
Move your money tomorrow before they hit you with another fee, BOA said that they were dropping the $5 Debit monthly charge, but they will have to get it from us some other way.  Just so you non-supporters know that we are doing this show that we too have a voice and their are consequences when you push people to far.
Nov 5, 2011 1:31AM

These people were hired by those big banks to calm you down.  Also, they are make it like a big deal as switch the bank.  In the real world, you can open new account in any local credit union within twenty minutes.  Don't be fool by them.  Shut down those big banks system.  Without your money deposit, they are just the empty warehouse.


If we, American people united togethers, we can win and shut down anything we want.

Be Strong.

Nov 4, 2011 4:26PM
Why in the world would you schedule this for a Saturday?  Many banks have limited hours and some branches are not even opened.  

Also..the timing is kind if weird too in that we just won the fight to stop BOA from charging the monthly debit fee.  Instead of battling them, we should have all just left in the first place. get what you want from BOA and THEN you leave?  I'm all for this movement but it seems a bit convoluted if you ask me.  Be clear about what you want.  I guess I'm being devil's advocate here but you did get what you wanted from BOA.  At least they listened and were willing to change.  Although I am still taking my money out.  I guess I'm just confused about the timing and organization of this movement.

I have decided to switch to a credit union but they aren't even open on Saturday.   Oh well!  Guess I won't be able to participate in the big move on Saturday.
Nov 4, 2011 10:08PM
If you go to a credit union or local bank tomorrow to Transfer Your Money, please, _please_ be kind to the staff if they are overrun with people wanting to open accounts. Being nasty or impatient with people who work for a nonprofit, that you are intending to support, is just unfair and not in line with the highest aspirations of the movement.
Nov 5, 2011 12:13AM
Most big banks got bailed out by the government which was the wrong thing to do. The Oboma  administration made a way for the poor man to drop his house payment called a loan modification. This is all well and good, but when they tell you that you qualify for the loan and the payment is lower than your regular payment and you start making those lower payments and then six or seven months down the road they tell you you should have been making your regular payments which leaves you behind 5000.00 and says you are in arrears. Mind you I had made every payment for twelve years and never missed a one. My second mortgage was current also. I called in my payments and they would say, what do you want to pay? Duh. The lower payment is what you pay, because you asked for the modification to start with. They figured out a way to swindle me out of my home. I am a war viet and was proud to serve my country and do my part. I am on disability and retired. Some grattitude for risking your life. Losing my home to a bunch of con artist. What about that America. I want reimbursed for the money I put in this home so I can buy me a home. The initials of this bank is C>B. Help Pres what about it?
Nov 4, 2011 10:37PM
This may seem like an extremely ignorant comment, but why is "Bank Transfer Day" on a Saturday? The majority of banks in my area are closed on Saturday. Seems like a dumb idea to me. Do your research and then make your own decisions. Whatever you deem best for you, then stick to that idea-whether that be transferring to another bank or not.

But most people are right about the "not being able to handle more accounts" factor.
HOWEVER, I strongly dislike large banks because of people like Mr. Calvin C and the American dream guy who are greedy pigs.

Nov 5, 2011 6:01AM
I switched to a credit union years ago. I tried several banks. I'm very responsible financially and I was getting monthly overdraft charges at every bank. I've had one overdraft with my credit union and it WAS my fault. I'm not doing anything different now than I was in the 80's. Stick it to the Banks any and every way you can. The only way we can force them to change is to take ALL of our money out. This whole movement is perfect. No ridiculous political movements, no jumping up and down and screaming, just a rational, simple grown up action.
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