About 40,000 people joined credit unions on Saturday’s “Bank Transfer Day” over the weekend.
That represents, according to Reuters, about $80 million in savings moved from big banks to the not-for-profit credit unions.
A few weeks back, some of my readers suggested that I was missing the point of Occupy Wall Street. I’m not missing the point of Bank Transfer Day.
Nor am I missing the tremendous difference between the two: Occupy Wall Street is doing little to make big business change its “evil” ways, because a bunch of folks — even a sizeable bunch of folks — who spend two months camped out isn’t really enough to make a business do much of anything.
But moving eight figures’ worth of cash away from big business? Now you’ve got someone’s attention.
Bank of America says it dropped a planned fee for debit card use after “carefully listening” to its customers. It was back in September, when the banking giant (along with others) announced plans to implement the fee to begin with. And it was immediately after that announcement that credit unions saw a spike in interest.
So Bank of America listened after people started threatening to move their money. (And after some actually did.)
The problem with the Occupy movement is that they aren’t moving their money; they’re making it too easy for the businesses to assume they have none, along with no jobs, by camping out indefinitely.
Even those dedicated protestors who are full-time employees, but who show up on their off-time just to show their solidarity with fellow protestors, don’t look like a financial threat to the big businesses they protest.
It’s a lot easier to get things done with your spending than camping out. When you start changing the way you do business, that speaks a lot more loudly than anything else.