08 November 2011

Bank transfer day

How much impact did it have? The reports I'm seeing around the net suggest that there was some, though it's early to tell. Smaller banks and credit unions, at least, have reported a major upswing in new accounts. The best report I've run across so far is here.

The biggest banks have total assets on the order of a trillion dollars, so the effect of people removing accounts containing just a few thousand will probably not be very damaging, unless really large numbers of people do it. For much smaller institutions, of course, the value of each individual customer is much greater. Frankly, I'd rather go somewhere where I'm more valued.

There has even been a meme circulating to the effect that giant banks would prefer to get rid of small depositors, on the grounds that such large numbers of small accounts are more trouble to administer than they're worth. Wells Fargo even responded to Bank Transfer Day by launching a new sub-bank called Abbot Downing, open only to customers with net worth above $50 million, as if to tell the 99% it doesn't care if they leave or not. Personally, I suspect psychological counter-warfare. Banks, from the biggest to the smallest, are always actively trying to recruit new customers, including customers of modest means; they wouldn't do that if they didn't see a net gain from having those customers. Note, too, how fast the big banks backed down on debit-card fees after complaints proliferated. That doesn't suggest that they're eager to lose our business, or even indifferent to it.

It will take a while to find out how much effect the bank transfer idea, as opposed to a single symbolic day, is having. Probably only a fraction of the people who feel motivated to move their money bothered to do it on that specific date. Myself, I'm still in the midst of switching; spreading the process over several days makes it easier and less glitch-prone than doing it all at once.

By the end of the year we should be able to get a clearer picture of the total impact. Obviously the big players aren't going to go out of business, but I suspect they'll at least feel enough of a pinch to realize that, in these days of greater class awareness, there's a price to be paid for angering the public.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Hey Infodell! ... first of all, I like the cartoon piece. You got a point as far as what kind money/ investment's they hold (BoA), their huge of course. When I heard that early 2/3 of a million folk's went to credit union's and other's, I cheered, even though I realize the figure's, but many of those small account's would also be borrower's as well, so that avenue get's hit too. You probably know how I feel about too big to fail entities, having been writing about these for over 3 year's now, which is my main concern, because of competition and especially when they fall ... they fall hard and bring down much with it. The loss to BoA may NOT be as significant in term's of number's, but what is significant is them small folk's that gained new customer's and became stronger. The President talked alot about downsizing and breaking up these entities, but nothing has been done, just too many thing's to address. A few year's back when I done this, some folk's I know locally couldnt figure out my point, and it wasnt popular, nor did I advocate to do so, but it worked for me is all I was saying, I managed to prove to myself that I can live and survive without having to do business with those, even retailer's and on down the line, so it all was satisfying to me and knowing that at least I still live in an era where I have choice's, which as these entities buy up more and more, we have less and are more dependent on them, etc ... you get the pic.

Enough said, Thanx for the post Guy ....

08 November, 2011 16:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anything "too big to fail" is too big to exist in the first place. If the government won't downsize the buggers, we'll have to make a start on the job ourselves, by actions like this.

08 November, 2011 21:04  

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