“Occupy” movement inspires consumers to ditch big banks

November 3, 2011
By Karen Lawson

Consumer outrage over monthly service fees for using debit cards is causing many to jump ship to smaller financial institutions free of fees. The Occupy Wall Street protests and bank consumers’ ire are sending a message to financial institutions concerned with expanding profits at the expense of their struggling customers.  The NBC affiliate in San Diego reports that the San Diego County Credit Union’s business expanded by 200 percent as of October 31. This trend is gaining ground as the Occupy movement promotes its  Big Bank Transfer Day for Saturday, November 5. Customers of big banks are encouraged to close their accounts and move their assets to financial institutions offering fewer fees and lower rates on mortgage loans, consumer loans and credit cards

Banks rescind debit fees, but customers still leaving

Reuters reports that 650,000 customers have closed bank accounts since September 29, when Bank of America announced its plan for charging $5 a month for using a debit card. Although Bank of America and other large banks have scrapped debit card fees, consumers are not in a forgiving mood. The government’s bailout of big banks coupled with record bank profits while consumers struggle with unemployment, foreclosure and resulting financial problems is causing consumers to say enough is enough.

Shop mortgage rates, credit card rates, account yields

Shop and compare financial institutions, loan rates, and deposit account yields. Review services offered along with fees and costs assessed for transactions, debit cards and monthly maintenance fees. It’s possible that the current climate of discontent among consumers will lead financial institutions to waive fees or increase benefits associated with their accounts. Using your choice as a consumer by changing financial accounts for making a political statement can also help with saving money. You can also benefit by reviewing credit card terms and conditions and consolidating credit card debt to lower rates through balance transfers or debt consolidation loans. Take action today for finding the best mortgage rates, account yields and deals on checking and savings accounts.


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