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 a new movement that takes aim at banks where it hurts them most – in their vaults.
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 (Stock Quote: BAC) decision to stick debit card users with a $5 monthly fee and Wells Fargo’s (Stock Quote: WFC) $3 test of the same.
On one of the movement’s Facebook pages, 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.
Here’s an explanation from the organizers of Bank Transfer Day, straight from the group’s Facebook page:
“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 on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1% a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren’t able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc.”