Bank Transfer Day, November 5th – Prepare Now to Move Your Money
by Staff on October 18, 2011 --
Why should you move your money?
Moving your money out of the big Wall Street banks to small community banks and credit unions is a great idea for a number of reasons: you will get better rates and fewer fees, your community banker will learn your name and provide you with more personal service, and you will be keeping money in your local community which increases economic development and eventually, creates more jobs. Yet the most important reason to move your money is to make your voice heard, to stand strong and no longer help a banking system that has run amok
INVEST IN MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET
When you keep your money in a local financial institution, that money in turn is reinvested in local businesses, which is important for building a stable economy and encouraging local growth. Put your money in the big Wall Street banks however, and they will use your deposits to make risky investments, gambling at the expense of the economy as a whole.
END TOO BIG TO FAIL
The big banks on Wall Street gambled with our money, then demanded a bailout of 0 billion. The size of these Wall Street “Banksters” threatens our economic system, yet their size has only increased since we bailed them out. According to FDIC data, the largest 5 banks held 13% of US deposits in 1994, today they hold 38%. If the government wont step in and break them up, then we must move our money ourselves and end ”Too Big To Fail” once and for all.
FEWER FEES, MORE SAVINGS
Worried about ATM fees? You shouldn’t be. More and more community banks and credit unions offer ATM surcharge-free networks, providing you with even more access to ATMs nationwide. Community banks and credit unions also charge on average less in fees, and often pay you higher interest on your accounts than big banks. The numbers are clear: the bigger the bank, the higher the fees.
GET MORE PERSONAL SERVICE
According to JD Power and Associates, small banks have consistently rated higher in overall customer satisfaction than their Wall Street counterparts and the gap has only widened in the last few years. Customers of community banks and credit unions talk to actual people when they call, instead of robotic phone-trees. Tellers often know them by name and treat their customers like family.
LEND A HAND TO LOCAL BUSINESSES
Smaller banks do disproportionately more small business lending than the big banks. Small businesses, in turn, are the main engine of job growth, accounting for 65% of new jobs. Banking locally is a great way to support independent businesses and create more jobs in your home town.
7 Simple Steps To Move Your Checking Account
1. Find a Credit Union or Community Bank
There are several online tools to help locate Credit Unions and Community Banks in your area. Use the links provided here, Google them or talk to friends and family about the institutions that they use. If you have advice on local credit unions or banks let us know in the comments.
2. Open Your New Account
In most cases, you should be able open a checking account with an initial deposit of to 0. At a credit union, you’ll also become a member and co-owner at the same time.
3. Order New Checks and an ATM/Debit Card
These typically arrive within 1 to 2 weeks. You should also consider applying for a credit card from your new local bank or credit union at the same time.
4. Ask Your Employer to Reroute Your Direct Deposit
When you open your new account, ask the bank or credit union for a direct deposit authorization form that includes your new account information. Give this form to your employer and anyone else who makes direct deposits to your account. It may take one or more pay cycles for the change to be made, so keep your old checking account open and watch for the switch.
5. Contact Companies that Direct-Debit Your Account
Using your last bank statement, make a list of any businesses that you’ve authorized to directly debit your account. Ask your new bank or credit union for an automatic payments authorization form that includes your new account information. Send this to the businesses on your list.
6. Set-up Online Bill Paying for Your New Account
If you like to pay bills online, set up bill payment information for your new account. Also, stop any automatic, recurring payments you have established through your old account.
7. Close Your Old Account
Once you have started receiving direct deposits into your new account and are sure that there are no outstanding checks or automatic debits that need to clear, close your old account. Warning: do not just withdraw the last dollar and assume the account will fade away on its own. Your old big bank may start charging you fees for having an empty or inactive checking account. Instead, follow the bank’s procedure for closing out the account.
Enjoy your new local banking relationship!
This checklist was produced by the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative. Visit newrules.org for articles, graphs, studies, and more.
Move Your Money Movement Having a Revival
By: David Dayen Friday October 14, 2011 7:03 am
After passively accepting ever-increasing mistreatment from big banks, activists, community groups and even some politicians are jumping aboard a broad, multi-stage “move your money” campaign designed to transfer bank deposits into community banks and credit unions.
The twin inspirations for this have been the Occupy Wall Street movement and its focus on the lords of finance, and Bank of America’s announcement of a monthly debit card fee, charging customers to use their own money. The latter in particular has sparked a great deal of activity. A petition to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan asking him to reverse the decision has over 223,000 signatures on the site Change.org. And House Democrats have asked Attorney General Holder to begin an investigation into whether big banks violated antitrust laws by colluding with one another over increased fees after the implementation of swipe fee reform from Dodd-Frank.
But many are bypassing the idea of getting BofA or other banks to reverse its fees and moving directly to encouraging customers to move their money. Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) introduced a bill that makes the process of moving money simpler, and bans all exit fees on the customer for transferring out of a bank. The idea is to fight gouging with competition, and to make the ability to move money frictionless.
This policy-level reform proposal can also help remind people that they have a choice in banking. And activists have picked up that mantle. A Facebook campaign has turned November 5 into bank transfer day.
"Bank Transfer Day was started by a 27-year-old Los Angeles art-gallery owner, Kristen Christian. She says she’s not affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protesters but that many organizers of those demonstrations had reached out to her to express support.
Christian chose Nov. 5 because of its association with 17th century British folk hero Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the House of Lords but was captured on that date in 1605. In an interview with the Village Voice, however, Christian and Occupy Wall Street leaders who discussed the effort to get Americans to move their money from large banks to small institutions emphasized that they weren’t trying to create a collapse of the financial system. ”I’ve been very careful to state that this is not … anarchy,” Christian told the Voice. “It’s shifting the money to a company people respect the practices of. It’s like, if you don’t like Walmart’s practices, shopping at a local grocery store instead.”
There’s no denying the populist appeal the movement has garnered: as of Sunday afternoon, about 14,000 Facebook users had RSVP’d to the event, and numerous other pages had been set up in support of the concept. But while plenty of people may like the idea of switching banks to avoid extra fees, moving the foundation of their financial life takes not only dedication but also time (a few weeks at minimum) and a fair amount of tedious paperwork."
The numbers have jumped since that article went to press: it’s now at 36,000 attendees. And that’s without any coordinated help from more established activist groups, which is on the way in the coming weeks. The time and paperwork aspect as a barrier to entry is the problem Miller is trying to solve, but I have a feeling there’s a certain determination behind the frustration that inspired and energized this effort.
And it’s not just individuals who are moving their money; it’s city and county governments, and large organizations with big bank accounts:
"In San Jose on Wednesday, unhappy customers were striking back at bank bottom lines.
Standing near the altar of the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Father Eduardo Samaniego announced that the East Side parish is moving its million account with Bank of America, where the church has done business for at least 20 years, to a community credit union.
“We are in a holy place to do holy work,” the Jesuit priest told 17 others members affiliated with People Acting In Community Together who stood alongside him. Some held posters that read “Keep Families In Their Homes” or “Stop Corporate Greed,” and several made similar announcements about divesting their own personal bank accounts from big banks involved in foreclosures into community banks or credit unions that were not."
San Jose has been ground zero for these efforts. The city moved nearly 1 billion out of Bank of America, specifically because of their poor track record on foreclosures. The county is poised to follow suit.
The Move Your Money project didn’t totally take off when Arianna Huffington established it after the financial crisis. It’s starting to have a revival.
Now if we can only get politicians to refuse to accept bank money, too…