Bank Transfer Day – Let’s Keep Going

by Bill on January 30, 2012

Over the weekend I spotted an article on Bank Transfer Day. I almost forgot about it, not that it wasn’t important, but that I only have a few dollars and they’re already in a local credit union. I transferred over last year. But to show how big the story still is, and should be here’s the story from Reuter’s News Service.

Personal Finance: Bank Transfer Day saw 600,000 switch | Reuters.

What’s odd is that there is this statistic quoted from the story..

Overall, about 5.6 million people moved their bank accounts in the last quarter of 2011, Javelin says. Account changes attributed to Bank Transfer Day represented about 11 percent of total moves. About a quarter of the overall group that moved accounts cited fees that banks charge. Fees, including Bank of America’s proposed monthly debit card fee, were at the core of the push to move consumers’ cash to nonprofit credit unions, which tend to have lower and fewer charges for routine banking.

The problem is that it didn’t do enough. The whole thing may have stopped the $5 charge for ATM fees but otherwise no big bank got hit hard enough. Now, maybe its the activist in me – or maybe its my total distaste for the “too big to fail” banking system. One day per one year is just not enough.

Here’s a problem within the problem, while people did transfer money out of their bank to another bank, they also moved it to yet another big bank.

An additional 200,000 people claimed they had moved their accounts due to the campaign against big banks, but did not take their money out of one of the top 10 institution”
-Jim Van Dyke, founder of Javelin, a research and consulting company

So that means that the money basically went from BoA to HSBC or Citi. In other words, it did nothing. Why?

Because it needs to be repeated – again, and again and again. We saw this with Wachovia and WaMu back in 2009; people went online and basically held a bank run without ever seeing the bank. The banks need to be scared of that happening again. The business must be aware that failure is possible should the customers be willing to leave.

This needs to be repeated this year, somehow. Not sure how, but it needs repeating.

When are you moving your account to a local credit union?

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