Star-Ledger: CUs Across the State See Bump in Membership on Bank Transfer Day

Posted by Marissa Anema Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:08:00 AM

Tens of thousands of people across the country joined a credit union Saturday due to Bank Transfer Day, and the impact of the movement was felt at New Jersey credit unions over the weekend, says a Star-Ledger article.

According to the article, titled "Credit Unions Make Big Gains on Bank Transfer Day", many New Jersey credit unions experienced an uptick in membership inquiries and account openings on Saturday. Nineteen people joined North Jersey FCU and First Jersey FCU gained roughly 20 new members. Aspire FCU gained 10 new members and also took on 76 new personal and auto loan applications, "which is huge for us," Mimi Masters, vice president of member services for the credit union told the Star-Ledger.

According to CUNA statistics cited in the article, roughly 40,000 people joined a credit union Saturday. Since Sept. 29, when Bank of America announced plans that have since been canceled to impose a $5 monthly fee on users of its debit cards, at least 650,000 consumers around the country joined credit unions, adding roughly $4.5 billion in savings, according to a previous CUNA study.

For New Jersey, the group estimated that nearly 10,000 people joined credit unions during the period, adding roughly $68 million in assets.

Following the launch of the grassroots campaign to get consumers to ditch big banks, credit unions and their trade associations quickly latched onto the cause to raise awareness about the industry, said the article. With the average age of a credit union member at 47, NJCUL president/CEO Paul Gentile told the newspaper, credit unions were also looking to add a new generation of members.

Gentile and others told the Star-Ledger they are confident the momentum for credit unions will continue even though big banks have backed away from the debit card fees.

"I don't think the mere fact that BofA backed down is going to stop consumers from educating themselves about what their options are," said Lourdes Cortez, CEO of the North Jersey Federal Credit Union. "The bad taste is in their mouth already."

The article is available in its entirety here.

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