Finally, some firm statistics are being released about the results of Bank Transfer Day, when consumers moved their money from big banks to credit unions and local community banks. Based on extensive research, Javelin Strategy & Research estimated that 5.6 million U.S. adults moved their money during a 90 day period. Some details:
- 11% (610,000 of the 5.6 million) mentioned Bank Transfer Day as the reason they moved their money
- 26% said that high banking fees were the reason they moved their money
Javelin concluded that both Bank Transfer Day and the Occupy Movement had a measurable impact when compared to research results from prior years. So, a true grassroots movement can have an impact.
Previously, CUNA revised downward its estimates of Bank Transfer Day results due to a flawed methodology. CUNA did not change its estimate of more than 40,000 new credit union accounts opened by consumers on November 5, Bank Transfer Day.
Javelin designed the online research questionnaire and surveyed 5,878 consumers during December 2011. The survey process included:
"... targeted respondents based on representative proportions of gender, age, income, and ethnicity, and data was weighted to U.S. census proportions. The survey is based on a set of questions that were first fielded in 2003, and are now deployed on a twice-annual basis."
Javelin has research identity theft and fraud, with reports covering 2008 and 2010, plus trends in corporate data breaches. I have found Javelin's work reliable, but still await more results about Bank Transfer Day. It would be great to know the average bank account balance transferred, since the big banks seem to have focused on getting consumers to consolidate their accounts (e.g., checking, savings, and investments). The big banks are probably willing to lose consumers with smaller balances.
In a recent conversation with banking industry analysts, the Bank of America CEO reported a 20 percent increase in account closures during the fourth quarter of 2011.