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Bank Transfer Day drew 40,000 new credit union accounts

Nov 12, 2011 Philip Burgess

Last Saturday's nationwide effort aimed at driving consumers away from big banks and toward credit unions appears to have been the motivation behind the tens of thousands of accounts opened at credit unions over the weekend. According to a report released Wednesday by the Credit Union National Association, more than 40,000 consumers joined credit unions on November 5 - dubbed "Bank Transfer Day" - marking roughly $80 million in new savings. Additionally, more than 60 percent of credit unions that reported new members on Saturday also claimed they allocated new loans on the same day. CUNA estimates that such loans equated to roughly $90 million in new loans. "Since September 29 - the day Bank of America announced its now-rescinded monthly $5 debit card fee - average estimated membership increases nationally were around 20,000 new members each day," said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney. "On Saturday, consumers doubled the pace. It's clear that consumers kept up their interest in credit unions." Interest in small financial institutions has skyrocketed in recent months as banks sought to balance revenue losses with new charges on customers, even as while many Americans struggle to find a place of employment.