The hoopla over “Bank Transfer Day,” an effort by credit unions and small banks to cash in national ill will toward big banks, netted Teachers Federal Credit Union 534 new accounts in the first five days of November, it said Tuesday.
It didn’t release numbers for Nov. 5, which was the official “transfer” day, or give a year earlier comparison for the first five days of this month but it said new checking accounts increased by 21 percent in September from a year earlier and 36 percent in October.
The credit union said 2,216 new accounts opened in October. “We have seen higher than normal numbers of new accounts opened in the past month and expect this trend to continue,” Robert G. Allen, Teachers president and chief executive said in a statment.
Teachers has 22 full-service branches, all in Suffolk County. Bank Transfer Day, started by a Los Angeles businesswoman on Facebook, is a movement born of anti-bank sentiment building since the federal government bailed out big banks in 2008. For local credit unions and community banks, the recession and big banks' recent attempts to charge fees for debit cards have been a boon.
Teachers says it’s one of the country’s largest credit unions and has more than 219,000 members.
Nationally, Reuters reported, about 40,000 consumers joined credit unions on Saturday, depositing about $80 million in savings — still a tiny fraction of the $8.2 trillion in U.S. bank and thrift deposits.
Getty Images Photo. Molly Hawkey, who moved her money from a bank to a credit union this week, carries her sign in the downtown Los Angeles financial district during the Move Your Money March on what is being called Bank Transfer Day. (Nov. 5, 2011)