People are obviously quite mad at banks, and it’s not just the Occupy Wall Street folks.
It’s quite understandable, since Wall Street banks are the epicenter of elite crony capitalism in America. (The Wall Street protest outbreak seems rooted in a more statist agenda, however.)
Perhaps the release of so much pent up anti-Wall Street fury is the result of people no longer blithely ignoring the corruption. After all, it has only been recently that those crooked partnerships finally spilled over into the real economy and helped to destroy a significant number of jobs and potential jobs.
Personally, my way of protesting Big Government’s unholy alliance with Big Banks is to switch my cash to a more reliable form: gold and silver. If you want to protest these corrupt political elites and their money games, then this is a great way to go. (Not to mention it protects your wealth better than having blind faith in the money-printing crowd.)
But other forms of financial protest are on display too. In early November, tens of thousands of depositors banded together, flexed their free market muscle, and sent a loud message to Big Banks… they took part in “Bank Transfer Day.” On this day, dissatisfied depositors transferred their accounts from big banks to community banks and credit unions in droves.
Financial Protests against Corrupt Banks Help Credit Unions
Talk about a growing national instinct toward greater self-reliance – now these folks have their money in member-controlled, not-for-profit institutions instead of in mega-corporations that nickel and dime depositors at every opportunity. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that over 40,000 people joined on Bank Transfer Day, bringing $80 million in deposits with them. What’s more, credit unions issued nearly $90 million in new loans.
If you plan to transfer your bank account because of bad service, don’t like getting hit by fees, or want to teach big-bank cronies a lesson, there are a few things to watch out for so everything goes smoothly…
What Are the Benefits of Joining a Credit Union?
Credit unions offer you a long list of advantages over big commercial banks. Bank Transfer Day wasn’t only a move to punish publicly traded banks, it’s a clear sign the free market is looking for a better deal, a better service, at a better price.
Banks Have Been Losing Customers to
Credit Unions Long before Bank Transfer Day
Believe it or not, nearly one-third of Americans are members of credit unions. With the negative press on banks, the Fed, bank bailouts, bank failures, and excessive, punitive fees charged by big banks, depositors have been steadily moving to credit unions over the past few years. CUNA CEO Bill Cheney says one million members joined credit unions in 2010, and he expects to see that number easily exceeded in 2011.
According to a report in Mainstreet.com, since September 29, 2011, the day that Bank of America announced its $5 per month debit card fee (now rescinded), credit unions nationwide added nearly 20,000 new members each day. The result is approximately 650,000 new credit union members in just a matter of weeks, according to CUNA.
How to Switch to a Credit Union and Avoid Snafus
Credit unions can be great alternatives to big banks. They are structured as nonprofit, member-owned coops. Many participants feel their individual interests are better respected by credit unions than by their gigantic counterparts. Most credit union members also claim to enjoy higher savings rates and lower borrowing costs than at the big banks, as well as being treated like a valued customer. Is that how you want to be treated, too?
A credit union may well be an option for you if you have been shopping around for a new financial institution to park your money in.