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Bank Transfer Day

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Bank Transfer Day is a national movement organized on Facebook that asks citizens to move their money from national banks to local banks and credit unions on November 5th, 2011.

Background

The movement was started by Kristin Christian, a 27-year-old Los Angeles Art Gallery Owner. She organized the movement on Facebook after Bank of America issued a $5 monthly fee to debit card users who have less than $20,000 in Bank of America accounts. [1] The Bank Transfer Day movement says this is a direct attack on the impoverished and working class. [2]

Christian chose November 5th in homage to the British folk hero Guy Fawkes, who attempted to blow up British Parliament on November 5, 1605. The image of Guy Fawkes, as popularized by the 2006 graphic-novel-turned-movie, V for Vendetta, has been used in Occupy Protests across the world. Christian's website says that, "While Bank Transfer Day movement acknowledges the enthusiasm from Occupy Wall Street…” it is a distinct effort. [3]

Action

Bank of America Caves

Bank of America caved into public pressure and called off its $5 debit card fee after an online petition generated over 300,000 signatures on Change.org and 21,000 people pledged to close their Bank of America checking accounts. [4]

More Move to Credit Unions

Credit unions are experiencing a boom in new clients, up 5% and the number is growing daily. [5] Credit Unions announced that they added over 650,000 members in the month preceding the 5th of November, which is an increase of 50,000 accounts for all of 2010. [6]

References

  1. Martha C. White Banks Back Off Unpopular Debit Card Fees, Moneyland.time.com, October 31, 2011
  2. Lyneka Little, Bank Transfer Day Gains Momentum on Facebook, ABC News, October 18, 2011
  3. Mary Bottari Remember, Remember the 5th of November! Bank Transfer Day, PRWatch, November 4, 2011
  4. Pepe Lozano Bank of America Yields to Consumer Outrage Over $5 Fee, Peoplesworld.org, November 2, 2011
  5. Michelle Nichols U.S. credit unions boosted by anti-bank campaign, Reuters, November 2, 2011
  6. Michael WinterCredit Unions Add 650k Members Ahead of Bank Transfer Day, USA Today, November 4, 2011