ING Direct Account Openings Skyrocket After BofA, Citi Fee Hikes

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After Bank of America and Citibank said they would charge for debit card use and raise fees and balance requirements, respectively, consumers went online to proclaim that they would change banks rather than pay. But talk is cheap (and switching banks can be a pain), so TIME Moneyland talked to Todd Sandler, head of product strategy at ING Direct USA, to find out whether or not people are putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

“We’ve seen a 43 percent increase in our Electric Orange checking account openings over the past week,” he says. “We’ve seen double-digit increases in our savings account openings, as well.” Anecdotal reports from other online banks as well as credit unions indicate that this influx of new customers probably isn’t an isolated incident.

(MORE: Could ‘Bank Transfer Day’ Pit Americans Against Their Big Banks?)

Sandler attributes the spike in new customers to big banks’ new fees and requirements for checking accounts. He says the Electric Orange checking account has gotten the most attention from new customers because it doesn’t have a minimum balance or charge fees for use. “The market … changed significantly, which makes it much more attractive. As a result, we’re seeing increased activity on this.”

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