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Entries in Bank Transfer Day (4)

Tuesday
Nov082011

Should You Join the Credit Union Boom?

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Business is booming at credit unions as consumers flee the high fees and low yields at traditional banks, but experts say comparison shopping is vital before switching and there may not necessarily be a credit union for everyone.

As a result of Bank Transfer Day, in which consumers were encouraged to switch to credit unions, 54 percent of credit unions reported an increase in share growth, according to a survey from the National Association of Federal Credit Unions sent to 10,000 respondents.

At least 650,000 people have switched to credit unions since Sept. 29, according to the Credit Union National Association, after Bank of America announced plans to charge a $5 debit card purchase fee next year.  The bank announced it was canceling the fee last week.

About 80 percent of credit unions offer at least one free checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly or activity fee, according to Moebs Services; about 64 percent of the largest U.S. banks offer the same, according to Moebs.

Bankrate.com's 2011 Credit Union Checking Survey shows a dozen credit unions of the largest 50 had monthly service fees, though the majority of those dozen waive those fees with policies such as a minimum balance or direct deposit.

Credit unions can help consumers save money because they are non-profit, and can pay higher interest rates on savings accounts, and offer lower loan and credit card rates.  The median annual fee for credit cards is $25 for credit unions and $59 for banks, and their respective overdraft transfer fees are $6 and $10, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts in May 2011.

But savers should take steps before transferring to a credit union, including researching which charge fees or require minimum balances.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov052011

Occupy Protesters Embrace ‘V for Vendetta’ on Bank Transfer Day

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- "Remember; remember the 5th of November" warns "V" the anonymous rebel who sparks a revolution in the 2006 movie "V for Vendetta."

Based on the comic book series and graphic novel of the same name, the film — and especially the mask worn by "V" — has become a symbol of discontent among Occupy protesters.

The mustached white face, frozen in a wide-mouthed leer, is based on Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who schemed to assassinate King James I in an attempt to restore Catholicism. He was eventually caught on Nov. 5, 1605, when authorities found his stash of gunpowder explosives hidden in the Parliament cellar.

A Facebook page blazoned with an image of "V" asks "all OCCUPY Protestors to come together on November 5th, 2011, to rally again for our efforts to end corruption and social injustice."

Occupy leaders are calling on supporters to pull their money out of large Wall Street banks and deposit it in local credit unions and other smaller institutions.  Kristen Christian, the small business owner who launched Bank Transfer Day, says her movement isn’t affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, but "acknowledges the enthusiasm" of Occupy protesters. On Saturday at least 82,000 people had indicated on the group's Facebook page that they will be attending the transfer day.In the movie, "V" issues his rallying cry, "If you see what I see, if you feel as I feel and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me …. and together we shall give them a 5th of November that shall never, ever be forgotten."

Although "V" sought and advocated for vengeance, Occupy has a much more peaceful message, emphasizing that Saturday's rally is "not a channel to express violence."

One Occupy event, scheduled for Liberty Square in New York City, will feature a "day long series of open forums" with representatives from community development credit unions who will "discuss why credit unions are an ethical alternative to conventional banking institutions."

The BBC recently spoke to British graphic novel artist David Lloyd, who created the image of the mask. He said it's become "a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.”

Or, as "V" would say, "Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth, and the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country isn't there?"

Lloyd even visited the protest in New York's Zuccotti Park, where several people were wearing the mask.

"My feeling is the Anonymous group needed an all-purpose image to hide their identity and also symbolize that they stand for individualism – V for Vendetta is a story about one person against the system," he told the BBC.
 
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Bank Transfer Day Distances Itself from Occupy Wall Street

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It's not even Bank Transfer Day yet, but already 650,000 people across the country have joined credit unions in the past four weeks.

Bank Transfer Day, designated for November 5, calls for people to shift their funds from for-profit banking institutions to not-for-profit credit unions.

"The principle behind monthly debit card fees weren't something I could support as a conscious consumer," said Kristen Christian, Bank Transfer Day's sole organizer. "Investigating my options, credit unions were clearly the most logical choice. I decided ... that I had to take further action to educate the American people in how credit unions serve local communities."

And that's how Bank Transfer Day was born. Just don't confuse it with Occupy Wall Street.

"I'm humbled that OWS has chosen to adopt BTD's directive, but felt it is necessary to distinguish between the two movements because of growing fear among Bank Transfer Day supporters that I was advocating and supporting disruptive actions a select few OWS organizers have chosen to engage in," Christian told ABC News.

The 27-year-old art gallery owner from Los Angeles said she had never participated in any Occupy activities, and posted the following disclaimer to her website:

"While the Bank Transfer Day movement acknowledges the enthusiasm from Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street, the Bank Transfer Day movement was neither inspired by, derived from nor organized by Anonymous or the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Bank Transfer Day movement does not endorse any activities conducted by Anonymous or Occupy Wall Street," the Facebook page for BankTransferDay.org states.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct182011

‘Bank Transfer Day’ Gains Momentum on Facebook

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- In about 18 days, more than 50,000 people plan to send a message to banks: Goodbye.

In an event titled “Bank Transfer Day,” thousands are signing up to leave large banks in favor of credit unions on or before Saturday, Nov. 5, over what some call unethical practices.

“If you don’t believe in a company’s practices or feel that a company’s practices are unethical, then, very simply, you should not have money with that company,” the 27-year-old creator of the event, Kristen Christian, told KTLA Live.

“I was tired of paying outrageous fees to banks for a severe lack of services. I was tired of having my money access determined by a corporation and the final straw because I was tired of banks targeting the impoverished and working class,” she said.

In addition to the 51,000-and-counting RSVPs for “Bank Transfer Day,” a cause page for the event has amassed more than 15,000 likes, and the group’s Twitter page now exceeds 600 followers.

The group’s mission, according to the public Facebook invite: "Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions to non-profit credit unions on or by this date, we will send a clear message to the 1% that conscious consumers won’t support companies with unethical business practices.”

In recent weeks, banks have drawn fire over fee hikes. A petition titled "Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees” has gained popularity, with more than 130,000 signatures.

Now, "Bank Transfer Day" may be gaining even more steam. The group’s attendees are active and vocal on the events page, sharing their stories of change with the public.

One person wrote, “I just opened a new account with a local bank with online checking, they’ll pay the atm fee of other banks and as long as I make 10 transactions a month with my card it’s free. Goodbye Bank of America, it was a fun 20 years.”

To help its attendees find a new banking institution, the event page, created by Christian, includes links to help find a credit union in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The banking options proposed by the Facebook event:

  • Research your local credit union options
  • Open an account with the one that best suits your needs
  • Cancel all automatic withdrawals & deposits
  • Transfer your funds to the new account
  • Follow your bank’s procedures to close your account before 11/05

The big banks have said they are simply trying to recoup their costs from new regulations, and many good deals are still out there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio