Bank Transfer Day

“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” -Robert Frost

Bank Transfer Day was on Nov. 5th and called for consumers to switch from using “big banks” to not-for-profit credit unions. It was, in part, a response to Bank of America’s decision to charge a $5 per month fee for debit card usage. My first bank account was with M&T Bank and I left them for Bank of America in 2004. This was mostly caused by my father’s relocation to an area that didn’t have M&T, and since I was still in college, I wanted him to have easy access to my bank account.I left Bank of America in 2009 for both ING and MD SECU – ING, because their interest rates were far more competitive than Bank of America, and SECU because the rates on their loans were far more competitive.

ING has a much more acceptable overdraft policy. Bank of America used to charge $25 per transaction, whereas ING charges interest on the amount you’ve overdrafted. If you know you’ve overdrafted and deposit money into your account quickly, it may only cost you a few cents. That’s reasonable. SECU was the only bank that would do an international money transfer when I was moving. ING, despite being headquartered in the Netherlands, could not transfer money to a Dutch bank.

You should consider moving your money, especially if you’re at one of the big banks (Bank of America, Citi, Chase, or Wells Fargo). Not just because of the OWS movement, but because you’ll get better service and, likely, better products.

While a few individuals may not make an impact on a huge bank’s bottom line, several municipalities might make a chip.  Several communities in New York state have taken their money elsewhere, after expressing dissatisfaction with how large banks have handled the mortgage crisis.

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