The fallout from the banking fee debacle, brought to you by Congressional meddling, corporate greed and social agitation, continues. And credit unions are making their play for your hearts, minds and deposits!
Let’s back up a couple of months. On October 1, new regulations went into effect cutting debit card fees from 44 cents a swipe, to 24 cents. These are the fees charged by the banks to the merchant every time you use your debit card. The banks howled, saying that was a loss of $5 per month, per debit cardholder.
So, big banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo announced new fees targeting the cardholder to make up the lost revenue. And it was the consumers’ turn to howl. Stir in a little Occupy Wall Street to get things really agitated, and somebody came up with Bank Transfer Day.
Bank Transfer Day proposed that on November 5th, we all dump our banks and sign up with a non-profit, no-shareholder credit union. And the credit unions howled – with glee. The result? According to this article, over 650,000 people joined a credit union in the last month, bringing over $4 billion with them.
Also, Bank of America and Wells Fargo announced that they were canceling their proposed fee hikes. But you have to wonder if, similar to the Netflix rate-hike disaster, the damage is already done.
Anyway, this is not an endorsement of credit unions, nor an indictment of banks, but a conversation starter (hopefully.) What do you think?