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Bank Transfer Day and its Impact a Week Later

Brian Walker
NationofChange / News Report
Published: Saturday 12 November 2011
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) conducted a survey which found that Bank Transfer Day brought $90 million in new loans, and $80 million in new savings accounts to credit unions nationwide
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NationofChange was on the scene in San Diego on the 5th of November, documenting and marching in solidarity with the Bank Transfer Day and Occupy movements. Protesters, as well as some interested pedestrians, marched at high speed while shouting “Show me what Democracy looks like”, and then in unison “This is what Democracy looks like!”  and “The People, United, will never be defeated!” around downtown starting at the San Diego Civic Center. The march stopped at a Bank of America and other local establishments to express frustration and to – most importantly – actively transfer money out of the predatory banking institutions. The human microphone was the most common form of mass communication as we marched, chanted, and displayed our resolve.

Last Saturday people around the world were asked to take part in Bank Transfer Day and transfer their money from big banks to not-for-profit and local financial institutions like credit unions. The boycott hoped to pressure big banks into moving away from the bad practices and fraudulent behavior that has contributed to the ongoing financial crisis.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) conducted a survey which found that Bank Transfer Day brought $90 million in new loans, and $80 million in new savings accounts to credit unions nationwide, illustrating the power of the unified consumer and placing strong pressure on the big banks to get their act together or lose their place at the top.

Even without considering the impact it is having on financial institutions, consumers who switched to credit unions will see long-term benefits from signing up for local banking, as opposed to large banking corporations, by avoiding a pile of costs associated with a banking philosophy that profits from your mistakes and errors.

With stricter rules and stacking fees, as well as a growing distaste for banking institutions which are seen as tax dodgers who are unwilling to contribute to the society that enriched them, banking consumers have been migrating away from big business financial institutions and switching over to credit unions. According to CUNA, between the start of September and November 5th, more than 650,000 people had made the change in to a credit union, compared to only 80,000 people on a normal month and more than the total of all people who switched in 2010. Credit Unions added at least 40,000 new customers on Bank Transfer Day alone, and ABC recently released a report which called the mass migration a “bank revolt,” emphasizing the seriousness of the movement and the public awareness it has bred.

Some banks may have retreated on those $5 debit fees but hundreds of thousands of Americans are on the move, outraged at banking practices in general, and Bank Transfer Day was a success.

ABOUT Brian Walker

Brian Walker is a reporter and assistant editor for NationofChange.

we have ONLY banked with

we have ONLY banked with credit unions for over a decade, but because of this initiative, we also cancelled our Bank of America credit cards. Still have Citibank cards but those will go as well as soon as they are paid off (later this year). LOVE my credit union! Fees are lower, interest is higher, and the kind personal attention over issues at the local branch cannot be topped!

So many Americans still

So many Americans still haven't got the message or don't understand that most of the politicians in this country are beholden to corporations, banks, lobbyists and insurance companies. That's why this country is still split. It is a lack of knowledge of a huge percentage of the 99%. And they don't want to know. They still think that if they back that party that they belong to, that tells them what they want to hear, they'll be all set. NOT.

Now if we could just apply

Now if we could just apply this same concept to the politicians who don't believe they work for US any longer. They've been taking money from corporations for too long, that it takes WE, THE PEOPLE completely out of the picture. Except for one thing .... they want and NEED our money to keep the country going. The corporations aren't investing much here.

I have been a member of a

I have been a member of a Credit Union for many years and also use a small neighborhood bank in which everybody knows me. Having a personal relationship with anybody with whom I do business is of utmost importance to me. Money is just smoke and mirrors convention that often does not reflect the real values.

If we all lived off the grid and harvested solar, wind and geothermal energy and water on our roofs and back yards and basements, we would drive fossil powered corporations out of business. In addition, when our front lawns become food gardens we will not need much money to live well. I have been doing it for over 2.5 years and have no utility bills, which enables me to live well without having a paying job.

That sustainable living off the grid had helped me develop all kinds of projects that are meaningful for me, rather then being enslaved by meaningless work because of money.

Before you move your money go

Before you move your money go to and enter your zip code to find credit unions and banks near you that are local. Sometimes when the Wall Street banks buy local banks, they keep the original name, so you could switch from a BofA location to a bank that looks local but is actually part of the Wall Street bank system. And, they are solid companies. If your small bank should fail, the FDIC will reimburse you. They probably can't do that again for the Wall Street bank.

The Wall Street banks make a lot of their money from lending to smaller banks and credit unions. It your money is already in the credit union , they don't need to pay interest to the Wall Street bank, so we eliminate the middle man- and the interest they charge.

When you have your money in a credit union, you are a part owner of that organization, so if you don't like their rules, you can get yourself elected to the board, or elect someone who will make rules you do like. My credit union doesn't charge any fees at all, and gives me a tiny monthly interest payment on my checking and a pretty standard one on my savings.

More importantly, they care about my community because they are part of it, and can only be as successful as the community is. You are strengthening your community when you use your credit union. The Wall Street bank wouldn't notice if your community burned down, as long as it didn't interfere with their CEOs getting their million dollar bonuses on top of their multimillion dollar salaries. The guy who runs my credit union is actually my employee, and he treats me like I'm important to him, because I am.

Its great to see all of this

Its great to see all of this happening. It's about time! One of the nice things about the "long wait" is that there is enough pressure to blow this massive cancerous zit (banking.corruption) clean out of the body. I am situated in Cork City, Ireland and the OWS movement has been a wonderful example for so many to follow. We have our own Occupy Cork movement- I have been waiting so long for this time. We should pay tribute to the wonderful movements in Tunisia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries and also Greece and Spain who have revolted and provided such inspiration to the rest of us. Thanks to all of you!

Beware that the federal

Beware that the federal credit unions don't start to imitate big banks. I know mine, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, has considerably increased their fees of late...

HEY 99%! Are you angry? Use

HEY 99%! Are you angry? Use it!

We have POWER! “Buying Power.” And, it’s about time we used it. Here’s how.




Companies want our money, but they don’t want to help America get back on its feet?
We are being starved, now let’s starve those greedy corporations who took our money.
We want companies to hire us, politicians to vote for us, and this is how to force it.
We have an incredible mobile army of millions and millions and millions of people!
Let’s combine the power that we all have. VOTE, by NOT spending.

Stop buying as much as you can. Stop buying from ALL of the big corporations, retailers and banks; Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, Costco, Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, Sears, Lowe’s, Supervalu, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Georgia Pacific, RJR, Brown & Williamson, Kraft Global, Sara Lee, Tyson, BP, Shell Oil, Exxon Mobile, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Sprint, Dell, Microsoft, Dow Chemical, Chevron, Kimberly-Clark, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital One, Ford, Chrysler, GM, Disney, Macy’s, Kohl’s, The Gap, Penny’s, Colgate, Nike, Staples, Office Depot, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Avon, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Kellogg’s, Dean Foods, General Mills, etc., etc., etc. All of them!
Add your own companies to our list and pass it on.

Don’t use global banks. Move your money from a big bank to a neighborhood bank.
Don’t use your credit cards or ATM’s…at all.
Don’t shop any retail chain stores. Shop local, or mom and pop shops.
Don’t buy gasoline. Walk, take a bus, car pool, or ride a bike.
Don’t buy any extras like music, movies, electronics, or toys…nothing.


Greedy global companies will be left in shock not knowing what to do.
Wall Street, the oil barons, corporate fat cats, stockholders, executives, marketers, retailers, politicians, and President Obama, will be asking us, the 99%, what we want!


We have already started.


My exact secret fantasy for

My exact secret fantasy for the newest phase of the occupation. OCCUPY GREED. BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED! And then we'll turn around the economy fast. We could do it!

Thank you for posting your

Thank you for posting your strategy. I have been utilizing many of your suggestions but learned that I can do some more that you have outlined

Much, much appreciated

I think that the Move Your

I think that the Move Your Money campaign is in its infancy and will grow massively. This is what the big banks really fear. The number of people who have closed accounts so far is inconsequential purely in terms of deposits lost, but if millions of people get on board, the Biggies will most definitely feel it.In the American political system, dollars count more than votes. Now we have found a way for ordinary citizens to act collectively so that their dollars will have some real clout.

As I have commented elsewhere

As I have commented elsewhere on boards like this, I have been banking at a small, family owned bank in Minnesota for over thirty years. Even when I moved out of St. Paul, I kept my accounts and have easily maintained both a checking and savings account using a terrifically convenient and absolutely safe online banking process. If for some reason I need to call the bank, a person and not a menu answers the phone; it is more often than not the same person I've been talking to for years, and she calls me by name. Within the time it take to actually get a real person on the phone when you call Bank of America, I've concluded my business in Minnesota. The fees I pay are all spelled out, with nothing hidden or surprising. If I ask to do something out of the ordinary, the first thing I'm told is, "you know, this will cost (whatever)?" All upfront, nothing tricky; in thirty years there have been no surprises. Not one.

I urge anyone who reads this to consider shifting accounts from a big corporate bank to a smaller, community owned and operated bank or credit union. Even if the corporate place charges you to split, it would in the long run be worth it. And not just for the country, but also for you, your money accounts and your peace of mind.

Just the start of somethin

Just the start of somethin

I have been a member of my

I have been a member of my local credit union since 1970! I have always like the way they use my money!There are a few ideals that the Occupy movement has with which I agree. Not many..but there are some. This is one of them. Another great bank is the USAA bank in San Antonio, TX. You have to have been a military member, or a dependent of one..but they are member owned and you actually get money sent back to you at the end of the year if there are profits. Now THAT is the way to handle 'other people's money'!!

We the people have enormous

We the people have enormous power when we speak with one voice. That is why they try to divide us with labels like conservative and liberal, because they're afraid of us. The banking industry thought they could shove us around, but we are speaking back and seeing the banks backing off, I love it! I drew a cartoon this week about this turn of events, it's up now.www.whatnowtoons.comleft of center independent political cartoons

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