Everyone Is Totally Wrong About What Bank Transfer Day Actually Is

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Hold the phone.

If you’re planning on taking all of your money out of a bank tomorrow and putting it in a credit union to support “Bank Transfer Day,” you may be misunderstanding a few things.

The intention of Kristen Christian, the young woman who started the movement, was *not* to have everyone transfer their holdings from Chase or Bank of America, etc, to a credit union on November 5th. Here’s what she told the Wall Street Journal:

“Bank Transfer Day has always recommended that supporters open credit union accounts in anticipation of independently closing accounts with banking institutions before the November 5th deadline goal,” she said in an email message. She added that nearly 75,000 supporters have opened credit union accounts.

So tomorrow is just the deadline. If you wanted to show your support for Bank Transfer Day, you should have already done it.

Also good to know: transferring to a credit union is a process that may take a little more than one Saturday afternoon. There are two reasons why:

  • A lof ot credit unions are closed or understaffed on Saturdays.
  • And money can’t be transferred between institutions on Saturdays because the Federal Reserve is closed.

More than that, there have been suggestions that Bank Transfer Day might actually help big banks, by taking smaller accounts off bank balance sheets (via The Daily):

“In essence, by eliminating a percentage of the less profitable customers, the movement could improve customer profitability overall for the bank,” said Hank Israel, an analyst at Novantas, a management consulting firm to the financial industry.

So yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

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