Is 'Move Your Money Day' actually working?



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Posted on November 5, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 5 at 5:09 PM

SEATTLE -  We know the so called  "Move Your Money" day is getting people to move their cash out of big banks like Chase and Bank of America.  The question, how much of a dent will that make in the bottom lines of the nation's biggest banks.

The Occupy movement that first seemed to catch on in New York back in September has now blossomed across the U.S. and Europe. Seattle and  Portland are the biggest centers for the movement here in the Northwest. 

The Occupy movement is attacking what it considers corporate greed.   

The big banks may never say how many accounts they're losing to "move your money,"  but the credit unions are very clear as to how much new business they're attracting. 

For the month of October, credit union BECU signed up 16,000 new members, a record.  804 new accounts opened on Friday  alone, according to spokesman Todd Pietzsch. 

BECU is now the nation's fourth largest credit union.  It used to stand for Boeing Employees Credit Union, but it's been a long time since it was a sleepy credit union for Boeing workers. For most of the last decade it's been free to bring in new members from around Washington State. 

On Saturday at the 2nd and Pine branch in downtown Seattle,  a beefed up staff was kept busy signing up new members.  One of them is former Bank of America customer William Knol. 

"I've been wanting to switch for a while now," said Knol. 

While he sympathizes with the message from the Occupy movement,  it's the fees that banks charge that pushed him to switch.  The fact that Bank of America dropped its proposed $5 a month fee to use debit cards under customer pressure didn't change his mind.