Will Banks Remember, Remember the 5th of November?

Bank Transfer

Image from: Bank Transfer Day / Shutterstock

There’s been a lot of talk recently about November 5th, the unofficial “leave your bank” day, a grassroots effort against large corporate  banks who aim to replace the revenue they were getting from small business with new user fees.

I decided to take a look at the Facebook page surrounding the “Bank Transfer Day” campaign and found that it has already garnered over 28,000+ likes and is being “talked about” by over 11,000+ people on Facebook. Naturally one might ask where people are planning on moving their money to. Bank Transfer Day is recommending that participants move their money to a local credit union and on the Facebook page they provide links to locate credit unions in the US, Canada, and the UK. We decided to check out findacreditunion.com (the US link) as well as other top credit union resource websites:

Though the largest website, creditunionsonline.com has seemed to level out in August and September, the smaller scale credit union sites have all increased in UVs from August to September. Lovemycreditunion.org has increased 83% in UVs in September, Findacreditunion.com has increased 61% in UVs in September, and Metrocu.org, a credit union operating all across Massachusetts, increased by 9% in UVs in September. Each of them has had a yearly growth in UVs between 89% (Metrocu.org) and 398% (Creditunionsonline.com).

I researched the Top 50 credit unions by membership and decided to check up on the site performance of the Top 5 (Navy Federal Credit Union, State Employees Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, The Golden 1 Credit Union, and the Security Service Federal Credit Union) with memberships ranging from 680 thousand to 3.2 million:

Though only the Pentagon Federal Credit Union and The Golden 1 Credit Union grew in UVs in September, all of these credit unions have had a significant yearly growth – ranging from 13% (State Employees Credit Union) to 77% (Navy Federal Credit Union).

It certainly stands to reason that credit unions have felt positive impacts from the bank bailouts, low economy, and potentially even socially organized campaigns such as Bank Transfer Day. But have the banks suffered? We wanted to check out the online performance of bank websites to see if there were any telling signs:

Although the banking category is down .5%, this is most likely due to the normal seasonality. Since there isn’t a dramatic decrease in unique visitors, it would be my guess that banking websites will not feel a large impact from the Bank Transfer Day movement.

In fact, we noticed some banks that actually grew (between .4 and 3.8%) in unique visitors in September (which would usually be down due to seasonality):

It’s clear that online banking sites haven’t plummeted from the Bank Transfer movement, and probably will never do so. Most banking sites are coming off of long stints of growth, despite all of the negative press, which has been going on for months.  Although Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Citi Bank, and Chase all have experienced a minimal downturn in traffic, this is something we commonly see in the fall quarter. As shopping increases over the holiday season, it can only be inferred that the health of banking websites will remain strong.

Are you a part of the Bank Transfer Day movement? Either way, do you anticipate the impact to be large enough for the banks to feel?

About Jen Duguay:
Jen Duguay joins Compete to take on all things social media. She comes from a social issue background, most recently having worked for the Social Innovation Forum, the venture philanthropy arm of Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm. Jen's interests include singing, marketing, running, art, making guacemole, and using social entrepreneurship to tackle world issues. She has spent time in Belize and the Dominican Republic working on microfinance initiatives and recently traveled to Kenya where she studied the public healthcare system. Follow Jen @jenduguay on Twitter.