CU Data

CU Membership, Deposits Spike as Bank Transfer Day Approaches

Rising bank fees chase hundreds of thousands of consumers to CUs.

November 03, 2011
KEYWORDS bank , consumers , fees , transfer
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Reacting to rising fees at banks, hundreds of thousands of consumers have rushed to credit unions over the past four weeks, and have joined current credit union members in depositing or shifting billions of savings to credit unions, CUNA reports.

Based on a nationwide survey of 5,000 credit unions, CUNA estimates at least 650,000 consumers have joined credit unions since Sept. 29—the day Bank of America unveiled its now-rescinded $5 monthly debit card fee.

Also during that time, CUNA estimates credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new deposits, likely due to new and current members shifting their funds.

The survey results also show that more than four of every five credit unions experiencing member growth since Sept. 29 attributed it to consumer reaction to new bank fees, or a combination of consumers’ reaction to the new bank fees plus the social media-inspired “Bank Transfer Day,” Nov. 5.

“Bank Transfer Day” urges consumers to transfer their accounts from banks to credit unions by Saturday, Nov. 5.

“These results indicate consumers are clearly making a smarter choice by moving to credit unions where, on average, they will save about $70 a year in fewer or no fees, lower rates on loans, and higher return on savings,” says CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.

He adds that studies show people living paycheck to paycheck save even more at a credit union than the average financial institution customer because they use more credit union services.

Cheney says the growth is particularly noticeable at larger credit unions (those with $100 million or more in assets), which account for about 20% of all credit unions but 80% of all credit union members. More than 70% of these credit unions reported growth in membership and deposits since Sept. 29, CUNA reports.

Cheney notes that many credit unions—whether they’re realizing new members or not—are making a special effort to tap the surging interest in credit unions.

“They’re conducting advertising campaigns, sending ‘switch kits’ to existing members to share with family members or other prospective members, beefing up websites, extending hours and staffing for [Nov. 5], sending email blasts to members, maximizing social media campaigns, putting up banners, offering bonuses to members who bring in new members, and giving bonuses to new members as well,” Cheney says.

Cheney also notes that searches for credit unions on, which features a search engine to help consumers find credit unions they’re eligible to join, continues to surge, with more than 56,000 visitors in October.

“Any day is a good day for a consumer to become a credit union member,” Cheney says. “Saturday, Nov. 5, is one good day to join, and we certainly encourage consumers to make the change.”

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive