Americans fed up with their banks voted with their wallets last Saturday, and we finally have some numbers to go along with the anecdotal reports of people ditching their old bank for a better alternative. Credit unions around the country acquired 40,000 new members, and roughly 80 percent of credit unions added members, according to the Credit Union National Association. In a survey of 1,100 of its members, CUNA found that credit unions took in $80 million in deposits and made $90 million in new loans on November 5, the day dubbed “Bank Transfer Day” by an online protest movement. Many opened in expectation of a flood of new customers last weekend, extended operating hours or beefed up staff levels to handle the anticipated demand.
This boost in business comes on top of the 650,000 new customers and $4.5 billion in deposits credit unions have added since September 29, the day Bank of America announced its (now rescinded) $5 debit card fee.
The Independent Community Bankers of America, the trade association for small banks, had a 500 percent jump in online traffic to its bank-locater site between Friday and Sunday of last week. Within the past 30 days, traffic spiked by 832 percent.
Realistically, the number of people and the amount of money aren’t enough to put a dent in the balance sheets of the Too Big To Fail banks, but consumers are sending a pretty clear statement to financial institutions about what kind of service they do and don’t want from the places where they do their banking.