Sun, Dec 21, 2014 07:27
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Tens of Thousands Flow Into Texas Credit Unions

Texas Business reports: DALLAS—Many Texas Credit unions had a steady stream of new accounts open on Saturday as "Bank Transfer Day" drew attention online and on the streets across the state.

While statistics for Bank Transfer Day are not yet available credit unions reported a surge in traffic. Statewide, credit unions reported 47,000 Texans had joined, and $326 million was moved by November 2 – four times the usual growth rate, according to the Texas Credit Union League. Nationwide 650,000 people opened accounts in the same period.

 “Bank Transfer Day,” is an online phenomenon launched by a single unhappy Bank of America customer, but since embraced by the Occupy movement and other grass roots efforts across the country.

Carol Cain with Velocity Credit Union in Austin Texas reported that every branch was “humming” and every new account representative was busy from open to close.  Amber Magee with First Community Credit Union in Houston, which has seen a 43 percent increase in new accounts, reported members actively posting updates on Facebook, encouraging friends to make the switch.

Across the state credit unions offered incentives to encourage people who might be contemplating making the change. From free lunch to a little extra in their new checking accounts, the build up to bank transfer day has energized credit unions throughout the state – and their members. Many individual members on the Bank Transfer Day Facebook page endorsed their own personal credit union and others noted they "attended" the online event by joining a credit union of their choosing.

These newest members of credit unions are likely to have switched for good. According to a Harris Interactive poll released before Bank Transfer Day, credit unions, which are not-for-profit and owned by members, had the best scores in customer satisfaction -  more than 70 percent of credit union users were highly satisfied. By comparison, when asked how valued they felt by their financial institution,  42 percent  of respondents rated Bank of America as "fair" or "poor," compared with 30 percent for both JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.

 The Texas Credit Union League is the official trade association for credit unions within the State of Texas. The League represents, on a state and federal level, nearly 600 credit unions state-wide, which are owned by over seven million members (about one-third of the state's population).