NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Occupy Wall Street has dominated headlines for the past few weeks, with advocates and critics jaw-boning over whether it was government or Wall Street that fueled the financial crisis (here's a vote for both).
But even critics can't argue about the growth prospects of the "occupations" taking place in urban centers across the U.S. Now comes an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that takes aim at banks where it hurts them most -- in their vaults.
|Debit card fees of $5 a month from Bank of America are among steps leading to a "Bank Transfer Day" protest with a Nov. 5 deadline.|
The social uprising -- called "Bank Transfer Day" -- encourages bank customers to take their cash out of big banks and put it in smaller banks and credit unions instead. The movement is ostensibly in response to aggressive fees institutions are rolling out to recover profits lost from new financial regulations, notably Bank of America's (BAC) decision to stick debit card users with a $5 monthly fee and Wells Fargo's (WFC) $3 test of the same.
On the movement's Facebook page, protest organizers say that, even with new government regulations in place to keep banks in check, they're still making out like bandits. For example;
- With the Durbin Amendment in effect, banks will still make 19 cents profit per processed transaction.
- The average consumer uses his or her debit card 24 times per month.
- Without the additional fee, Bank of America stands to turn a $3.3 billion annual profit from its 59 million customers' debit card transactions.
- Open an account with a credit union.
- Transfer your funds to the account (online or in person) by Nov. 5.
- Follow your bank's procedures to close your account.