October 13, 2011

Bank Transfer Day, yeah, good luck with that

The Occupy Wall Street faux movement is stupid beyond words.  I have avoided the subject because I really can't think of enough negative adjectives to appropriately represent how I feel about it.  Now, an offshoot of OWS is calling for a 'Bank Transfer Day':
"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."
Number 1, somebody should wake these idiots up and help them count.  They don't represent the 99% they think they do.  The above statement, in itself, is contradictory.  If you don't have money to pay rent, food, medication, utilities or student loans, then what could you possibly have in your bank account? 

I will admit that I do not have an account at what would likely be considered a 'major banking institution'.  I have accounts at three banks.  USAA in San Antonio, where my insurance and retirement accounts also reside, a local credit union that was associated with Xerox back when I worked there and a locally owned conservative small bank with about 10 branches in North Texas.  I don't pay a dime in fees at any of them.  Why?  Because I shopped around.  Because I maintain the minimum balances that are required by some of them to waive the fees.  In the case of two of them, I have reached a 'loyalty' status, through the number of years I have been a customer.  I don't overdraw my accounts.  I don't bounce checks.  I know that some people think that such activities are in the course of normal life, but they aren't to me.  Banks might not make much in the way of fees where I am concerned, but they like a steady balance of cash with which to invest just as well.

I am further amused by the BTD movement's suggestion to move funds to credit unions.  Why?  I don't have the time to look it up, but, in Texas, at least, credit union laws changed several years ago, so that there is very little membership requirement.  What was the Xerox Federal Credit Union when I joined, and was only allowed because of my employment there, has changed names and allows virtually anyone to become a member now.  Credit unions also reciprocate with other credit unions.  My branch is most often filled with people conducting shared branch transactions for American Airlines CU.  If they think the fees will be any less, I got news.  A quick comparison of my fee schedules for each of the financial institutions I use shows virtually no difference in what they charge.  The true banks have better interest rates, but I guess that is only important to people with money in the bank and the ability to get a loan.  Most CUs used to be small non-profit businesses but are now, essentially, banks with tax benefits.

I don't foresee November 5th being memorable to banks other than they might get a few thousand deadbeats off their books.

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