November 5 – Bank Transfer Day
In recent days, the upcoming Bank Transfer Day, taking place on Saturday, November 5 has been mentioned in various media. What is the Bank Transfer Day?
“Bank Transfer Day”, according to its organizer, California small-business owner Kristen Christian, promotes the idea that ordinary people should oppose the ever increasing service charges imposed by wealthy commercial banks. The opposition will take effect by transferring existing accounts from large commercial banks to credit unions and small community banks by November 5, 20111. The date marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot in England, which became a symbol of civil disobedience against oppression by wealthy rulers.
The idea for the Bank Transfer Day followed the announcements by Bank of America, among other financial institutions, about their intent to start charging hefty fees for using, or possessing a debit card. These charges are particularly aggravating as most people use their debit cards as an indispensable tool to access their current accounts and savings. Commercial banks, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or JP Morgan Chase began imposing the fee after federal regulations limited debit card interchange fees to a maximum of 21¢ per transaction. These banks used to charge on average 44-47¢ per transaction2 before the introduction of the new fees. According to their annual reports, these institutions continue to earn profits of $2.6 billion to $5 billion from their customers’ debit card transactions before accounting for the newly introduced fee increases3.
Faced with significant consumer backlash, some commercial banks announced this past Friday, October 28, their decision to forgo the adoption of highly unpopular fees4. This reversal further underscores the commercial banks' fear of losing business to friendlier, less expensive credit unions and community banks that truly care about their communities and the economic woes they face.
The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union has always believed that financial institutions should not take advantage of their clients. We would like to remind our members and prospective members that PSFCU’s goal is to make our services highly affordable, by always keeping our clients’ best interests in mind:
- PSFCU does not charge fees on our checking accounts.
- Our VISA® Debit Cards are free of charge5, another key advantage over commercial banks.
- On November 30, 2011, PSFCU will join STAR® SF / Allpoint, which allows PSFCU VISA® Debit Cardholders to withdraw funds free of charge at over 40,000 ATMs in the United States.
PSFCU members will not spend their hard earned money paying hefty fees to wealthy commercial banks. We therefore encourage everyone to come to our Credit Union by November 5, open a PSFCU account and learn the Credit Union difference!6
- You are only a click away from becoming a Member of PSFCU by going online and accessing our e-branch at any time.
- If you choose to use one of our convenient branches, our highly qualified staff will provide assistance with opening your account. Click here to see the list of our branches.
We understand that closing an account is not always easy and often requires filling out multiple forms. For your convenience we have prepared an easy to follow Account Switch Kit that will allow you to close your account at another financial institution and transfer funds to PSFCU.
For any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact our Member Support Center at 1-800-297-2181; our friendly representatives are waiting to assist you!
1 Source: Bank Transfer Day official Facebook page.
2 Source: ABC News.
3 Source: Bank Transfer Day official Facebook page.
4 Source: The Washington Post.
5 A checking account is required to obtain a Debit Card. For use of ATMs not owned by PSFCU, a transaction fee may be assessed by their owners.
6 Membership restrictions apply to open a PSFCU account. Other restrictions may also apply.