Bank Transfer Day Unites Fed-Up Customers

Facebook movement urges people to switch to credit unions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2011 8:59 AM CDT
Bank Transfer Day: Facebook Movement Urges People to Shift to Credit Unions Today
In this Nov. 2 photo, a protester sits in front of an ATM machine as a customer gets money at a Bank of America branch in Oakland.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Will America's big banks feel the wrath of ticked-off customers today? It is, after all, Bank Transfer Day, a movement that sprouted from an angry Facebook post by small-business owner Kristen Christian of Los Angeles. She called on bank customers to close their accounts and move them to credit unions today, and about 80,000 people on Facebook have pledged to participate. "Consumers are waking up and seeing that they have options," she tells AP.

Will the movement work?

  • Yep: "Every single person who actually goes ahead with a switch of banks is casting a potent vote in the long-range democratization of finance," writes Andrew Leonard at Salon. Sure, the banks might "shrug it off," but "just because it’s a psychotherapeutic cliché doesn’t mean it’s wrong: Taking action is empowering." Full post here.
  • Not really: In reality, big banks are "blithely unconcerned" about small-timers yanking their accounts, writes Felix Salmon at Reuters. That's not where they make their money. "So while I think it’s great that people are moving to smaller banks and credit unions, I’m not kidding myself that doing so is going to harm the big banks at all. In fact, it might even help them, at the margin." Full post here.
(More big banks stories.)

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