It’s one thing to support Occupy Wall Street on Facebook, but many Americans are struggling to convert the interest they have in the movement into real, lasting change.
And one of the ways gaining steam is a suggestion that the 99% move away from big banks, the same institutions that tanked the global economy with toxic securities and assets, leading to much of the pain that spurred worldwide protests. The grassroots “move your money” movement urges consumers make the switch from banks like Citibank, Chase and Bank of America to a local credit union, and the push has been fueled by now abandoned but not forgotten debit card fees and similar tariffs suggested by the banks to offset the impact of the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be all talk when it comes to Bank Transfer Day. In all of 2010, 600,000 Americans joined credit unions. But since September 29th, about a week and a half into the Occupy Wall Street protests, more than 650,000 Americans have made the switch. Bill Cheney of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) commented on the sea change:
“These results indicate that consumers are clearly making a smarter choice by moving to credit unions where, on average, they will save about $70 a year in fewer or no fees, lower rates on loans and higher return on savings.”
Have you been considering making the switch on Bank Transfer Day? The Move Your Money project has a handy tool to help you determine which institutions will best serve you in your area.