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CUs enjoy another round of BTD publicity
MADISON, Wis. (2/29/12)--Although Bank Transfer Day (BTD) was months ago, its impact is still being discussed. Credit unions recently were featured in more media outlets as a result of their BTD growth and the public's general dissatisfaction with banks.

Michigan credit unions gained 27,900 new members between Sept. 29 and Oct. 29--quite a bit more than typical for a month, according to estimates by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reported in Crain's Detroit Business (Feb. 26).

Increasing bank fees, more scrutiny of loan customers by banks, and the credit crisis in 2009 and 2010, helped credit unions gain more business, David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League, told Crain's.

Michigan has 4.5 million members, the publication said.

Nationwide, nearly 700,000 people had opened new accounts at credit unions as a result of activities leading up to BTD on Nov. 5, said The Motley Fool (via Feb. 28), citing CUNA statistics.

The upshot, according to The Motley Fool, is that even if BTD fell short of its desired results in acquiring members from big banks, it will be a lot more positive for consumers in the long term for one basic reason: "It shows that they're empowered to take action to boost their own  personal financial situations.

"By moving to smaller institutions that are better suited to meet their needs, millions of customers will get better service and have a more valuable experience," the article continued. "That, in turn, should help encourage many people who otherwise would've been too intimidated to take further steps toward smarter money management moves like investing. In the end, the winners of BTD were those who saw the light and made moves to save them money. That's a lasting lesson that could serve you well throughout your lifetime."

Also, The Washington Post Tuesday reported on one of its blogs that more U.S. citizens are transferring their money out of large and mid-sized banks. About 9.6% moved their money in 2011--up from 8.7% in 2010, and 7.7% in 2009, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, cited by Housing Wire. (See Feb. 28 News Now report on the study: "Big bank exodus good for smaller FIs: JD Powers").

To read the articles, use the links.
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