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How much did Bank Transfer Day hurt banks, help credit unions?

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Back in November, many predicted that Bank Transfer Day – the bank-fees protest that asked fed-up customers to leave their big bank for a credit union – wouldn’t make a significant dent in business for banks. New numbers out today, however, reveal that 1.3 million Americans opened credit union accounts in 2011, fully double the number of new accounts in 2010.

$96 billion of our nation’s currency is currently held in credit unions, still small compared to the $12.6 trillion in banks, but rising nonetheless. It seems logical that banks would be a bit miffed by this lost, but industry analysts say that big banks actually lose money on customers with less than $100,000 invested and that at a certain point, banks will have to charge for their services, or risk losses.


Will this drive more of the country’s funds towards credit unions? Do credit unions risk the same losses as banks and will they continue to be a viable alternative for those who want to keep their money away from larger banks? Did you switch to a credit union and are you satisfied with the switch?


Fred R. Becker Jr., president, CEO, National Association of Federal Credit Unions

Ted Frank, adjunct fellow, Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy; editor, PointofLaw.com