Bank Transfer Day accounted for few bank transfers last year

Bank Transfer Day

Though Bank Transfer Day itself wasn't a huge success, a lot of people did switch banks last year. Photo Credit: Fayerman/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Several months ago, an online campaign for “Bank Transfer Day” began, which aimed to convince people to switch their banks. The event itself wasn’t incredibly successful, but it is estimated that more than 1 million people switched banks after Bank Transfer Day.

Remember remember some day in November

Last year, a lot of people were displeased with the fees being charged by large retail banks. The $5 monthly debit card fee at Bank of America was singled out as one of the most egregious examples. In response, a large number of people began switching banks and an online campaign for a “Bank Transfer Day” began.

The plan was to get people to switch to smaller community banks or credit unions on Nov. 5 because Nov. 5 honors Guy Fawkes, who was adopted as symbol for the “Occupy” protests and the Anonymous “hacktivist” group because of the graphic novel and film “V for Vendetta.”

Granted, the actual Fawkes was trying to install a Catholic theocracy in England via terrorism and Nov. 5, 2011, was a Saturday, when most banks are closed. Though it got massive press, only about 610,000 people, according to Daily Finance, switched on Bank Transfer Day.

Fall was big for bank transfers though

Though the Bank Transfer Day itself wasn’t incredibly impressive, given that more than 210 million people have bank accounts in the U.S., the last three months of 2011 were. A recently released study by Javelin Strategy and Research found, according to the Los Angeles Times, that an estimated 5.6 million people switched banks between the start of October and the end of December.

Bank Transfer Day participants accounted for about 11 percent of bank switchers, according to Business Insider,  which is an impressive fact to add to the resume of the 22-year-old woman who started the Bank Transfer Day Facebook campaign.

[Overdrafts and other bank fees can be avoided with personal loans]

Javelin also asked the reason behind why people switched, in a survey that was part of the study, finding that 26 percent of respondents didn’t switch because of any social campaign, just the fees themselves.

Several big banks took a hit

According to Reuters, people who switched banks did so at relatively uniform rates. Bank of America was largely thought to be the chief villain, but customers left at about the same rate across similar institutions. Bank of America experienced a 20 percent uptick in account closings in the final quarter of calender year 2011, but many other large banks reported similar numbers. B of A ended up canceling the debit card fee in the wake of the protests.


Daily Finance

Los Angeles Times


Business Insider:

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