Credit unions ready for Bank Transfer Day

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:47 PM

 FORT WORTH - Stan Clark walked into Unity One Credit Union in Fort Worth on Friday angry. He's not mad at the credit union, but his bank.

Clark says the bank wants to charge him $6 per month to receive his checking account statement.

“I find it distasteful they are going to charge me for a bank statement, I don't have a computer,” said Clark.

He came to found out more about moving his money to the credit union.

Supporters of Bank Transfer Day hope Clark will be one of thousands of people nationwide to do the same thing on Saturday, Nov. 5.  Unity One Credit Union plans to have extra staffers at its five locations in case there is an influx of customers.

The movement began with a Facebook posting by a California art gallery owner, Kristen Christian.

She was angry about Bank of America's now-cancelled attempt to charge many debit card users $5 per month.

“I couldn't support the principle behind the $5 fee structure that targeted anyone with less than $20,000 in an account, because those people couldn't afford it,” Christian said.

Nationwide, 650,000 people have transferred their money to credit unions since the Bank of America announcement. That's more than all of last year.

In Fort Worth, Unity One Credit Union and EECU tell news 8 they've seen increases of at least 10 percent in the past month, spread across branches in the metroplex.

Erayne Gee Hill is a Unity One Credit Union spokesperson.

“We want them to come in, we want them to be credit union curious," Hill said. "We want them to ask questions about us and ask us what the difference is."

Credit Unions often have lower fees because they operate at non-profits, and are owned by their members.

Bankers caution closing old accounts and opening new ones takes longer than a day.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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