For those interested in data points around Bank Transfer Day (which was the movement started by an individual consumer to encourage people to move their DDA accounts from big banks to credit unions), this article offers a detailed list of comings and goings. However, the main point might be that hundreds of credit unions have seen a spike in accounts and have had the rare opportunity to collectively (and loudly) toot their horns.
Either way you look at it, October 2011 can be regarded as “Black October.” For big banks, it was a hugely negative event like Black Monday in 1987, only for a whole month. For community-based financial institutions — especially credit unions — it was a major boon to business, like 30 straight days of Black Friday.
What we don’t know yet, is which accountholders switched and whether or not they offer a sustainable net new account base for credit unions. As banks quickly retreat from the per-debit card fee strategy and the initial hysteria dies down, will the movement lose its momentum? Accountholders facing the cumbersome and time-consuming task of changing primary checking accounts may demur in favor of good intentions and leave their primary account at the big bank, while maintaining a secondary account at a local credit union. Time will tell, but in the meantime credit unions are getting some well-deserved attention.