People are Ditching Their Banks and Shredding Their Cards

Passersby use Bank of America ATM machines after protestors cover the machines with yellow danger tape and protest signs, outside a Bank of America branch in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The other day, our own Matt Taibbi suggested one way Occupy Wall Streeters might elect to to sock it to the bankers: pull their money out of places like Bank of America and stash it in a credit union or some other alternative to a bloated, too-big-to-fail, economy wrecking, accountability-evading behemoth.

Well, via GOOD, we learn that quite a few people have been doing just that. Efforts like the Facebook-based Bank Transfer Day,, which is urging depositors to switch to a (low-or no-fee) credit union before Nov. 5, and Move Your Money, are having an effect, and local news outlets are reporting an uptick in fund shifts from big banks and into nonprofit institutions. Understandably, credit unions are piling on with ad campaigns urging potential customers to "ditch their banks" and "shred their cards." Some credit unions have seen a 30 percent bump; others have doubled their membership.

These efforts aren't directly linked to Occupy Wall Street, as far as I can tell, but they've obviously gotten a major boost from the justified outrage toward the biggest banks that the movement has stirred up. (Not to mention from Bank of America's ill-timed introduction of a $60 annual fee just to use their debit card.) Anyway, another powerful reminder that there are things people can do to push this thing along.