US Bank Transfer Day campaign spreads to New Zealand on Guy Fawkes Day; NZ Association of Credit Unions eyes shift of customers from big 4 banks
A US campaign to transfer accounts out of banks into community owned financial institutions today has spread from social networks in America to New Zealand.
New Zealand Association of Credit Union Chief Executive Henry Lynch told Interest.co.nz credit unions had begun receiving enquiries about shifting accounts through this week as the campaign spread out of the United States.
‘Bank Transfer Day’ is part of the broader Occupy Wall Street movement sweeping America and much of the developed world.
“The dissatisfaction being expressed in the US in particular, with the perceived unfairness of their banking system, is definitely giving the Bank Transfer Day campaign traction,” said Lynch. The NZACU is the trade association for 21 member credit unions throughout the country.
The bank transfer movement was started by a Californian businesswoman, Kristen Christian, who was disgruntled with the way her bank had treated her, and decided to shift her funds ‘to the local level where they will have a more positive impact on the community’. See more here at Reuters.
More than 70,000 consumers in the US have already indicated via Facebook that they intend to follow suit and shift their money to credit unions. Here is the Facebook page November 5th used as the base for the campaign.
“Some credit unions in the US have seen more than a 300% increase in new members, and it appears to be continuing. People are becoming more aware of the cooperative values of credit unions and like the fact that all members are treated equally,” said Lynch.
Credit Unions are owned by their members and receive benefits from that ownership in the form of lower borrowing rates and higher deposit rates.
“It’s one member, one vote, regardless of your level of savings with that credit union,” continues Mr Lynch.
In the last 12 months to 30 September 2011, the 21 NZACU member credit unions have grown their membership by 3.5%, their assets by 5.3% and deposits by 6.7%.