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.
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.