November 09, 2011

Credit unions brought in 40,000 in new members and added $80 million in new savings account funds on Nov. 5, Bank Transfer Day, according to a survey released by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the nation's largest credit union advocacy group. In total, the group said the past month resulted in about 650,000 new credit union members joining the ranks.

A CUNA survey of 1,100 credit unions found that around 80 percent of larger credit unions said they signed up new members on Bank Transfer Day, and many credit unions opened on Saturday or extended their usual Saturday hours to deal with the expected influx of new members. Credit unions surveyed said they made $90 million in new loans on Saturday. CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney said the survey response indicates that the momentum credit unions realized in the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day continued right into Nov. 5 itself, with a specific spike in membership on that day.

"Consumers should be given credit for being smart about what to do with their money," Cheney said in a written statement. "Many obviously did not wait for a specific day, but took the time to make the change to a credit union in a deliberate manner."

Bank Transfer Day started as a social media campaign by a California woman urging consumers to take their money out of big banks and put it into credit unions by Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes Day.

The 650,000 members who joined credit unions in the last month exceeds the new membership total from all of 2010, the group said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...