Activist plan ‘Bank Transfer Day’ for Saturday, encourage using credit unions

Here and Now

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A new Harris Interactive poll shows customers of the largest banks are fed up, and many of them are ready to leave.

Only 44 percent say they’re satisfied. The results are worst at second-largest Bank of America, where 9 percent of customers are ready to walk out the door. At JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank, 3 percent want to leave. At No. 3 Wells Fargo, 6 percent want to take their business elsewhere, Business Week reported.

Coming Saturday is Bank Transfer Day, a protest organized in Los Angeles that is encouraging customers of the big banks to move their money to credit unions.

The Harris Poll showed that 70 percent of credit union members are satisfied with their banking.

Suzanne Woolley, managing editor of Bloomberg.com personal finance, said the recent effort by all three big banks to implement debit card fees may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I think a lot of people have fee fatique — not just from banks,” she said, citing airlines as another industry subjecting consumers to a lot of fees.

Credit unions, as nonprofits, typically charge their customers fewer fees.

Woolley said some credit unions reported that their deposits tripled in the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31.

“We may be at a tipping point where it really resonates with customers who are under a lot of pressure with high unemployment,” Woolley said.

Saturday’s protest may be a great opportunity for credit unions to up their marketing and add some new customers and ther are some signs banks are already doing so.

Credit unions around the country are running promotions including offering $50 for those who sign up account or entering new customers in a drawing for a prize, like an iPad2.

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