‘Bank Transfer Day’ Gains Momentum on Facebook

In about 18 days, more than 50,000 people plan to send a message to banks: Goodbye.

In an event titled “Bank Transfer Day” thousands are signing up to leave large banks in favor of credit unions on or before Saturday, November 5, over what some call unethical practices.

“If you don’t believe in a company’s practices or feel that a company’s practices are unethical, then, very simply, you should not have money with that company,” the 27-year-old creator of the event, Kristen Christian, told KTLA Live.

“I was tired of paying outrageous fees to banks for a severe lack of services. I was tired of having my money access determined by a corporation and the final straw because I was tired of banks targeting the impoverished and working class,” she said.

In addition to the 51,000 and counting rsvps for “Bank Transfer Day,” a cause page for the event has amassed more than 15,000 likes, and the group’s twitter page now exceeds 600 followers.

The group’s mission, according to the public Facebook invite:  ”Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions to non-profit credit unions on or by this date, we will send a clear message to the 1% that conscious consumers won’t support companies with unethical business practices.”

In recent weeks, banks have drawn fire over fee hikes.  A petition titled ”Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees” has gained popularity, with more than 130,000 signatures.

Now, Bank Transfer Day may be gaining even more steam. The group’s attendees are active and vocal on the events page, sharing their stories of change with the public.

One person wrote, “I just opened a new account with a local bank with online checking, they’ll pay the atm fee of other banks and as long as I make 10 transactions a month with my card it’s free. Goodbye Bank of America, it was a fun 20 years.”

In a Facebook note titled “Why Credit Unions,” the group writes: “credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by their members and governed by a board of directors elected by, and from among, those members. All members (anyone with money in an account) is entitled to vote on major decisions affecting the credit union. ”

To help its attendees find a new banking institution, the event page, created by Kristen Christian, has includes links to help find a credit union in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The banking options proposed by the Facebook event:

• Research your local credit union options • Open an account with the one that best suits your needs • Cancel all automatic withdrawals & deposits • Transfer your funds to the new account • Follow your bank’s procedures to close your account before 11/05

The big banks have said they are simply trying to recoup their costs from new regulations and many good deals are still out there.