Credit Unions Gain 650,000 Members, $4.5B in Deposits After BoA Fee Flap

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Jeff Gelles


11/03/2011 - Occupy Wall Street activists and their allies have been touting Saturday as "Bank Transfer Day." Credit unions say they're already seeing results, thanks to the firestorm over Bank of America's $5 debit-card fee: Since Sept. 29, when BofA announced plans for the new fee - since reversed - credit unions have gained an estimated 650,000 members and $4.5 billion in new deposits.

The Credit Union National Association announced its estimates today - crowed about them, really - in a news release based on a survey of about 5,000 member institutions. It says the growth in membership dwarfs the 80,000 new customers gained in an ordinary month.

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But the firestorm had been set. Inadvertently, Bank of America drew attention to a problem that consumer advocates and others have long complained about: the difficulty consumers face in understanding what they actually pay for their banks' services, especially when much of the revenue has been coming indirectly via ever-rising debit fees collected from merchants.  Earlier today, two Democratic senators joined the Pew Health Group in calling for a simplified, one-page disclosure form for key checking-account terms.

Read the article Credit Unions Gain 650,000 Members, $4.5B in Deposits After BoA Fee Flap on the Philadelphia Inquirer Web site.

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