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People responding to call of Bank Transfer Day on 5 November

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Summary of story from the SantaCruzSentinel, November 2, 2011

Residents in Santa Cruz county, California, are among those responding to the call for Bank Transfer Day on November 5, a grassroots effort started by a young Los Angeles gallery owner (see WVoN story) frustrated that reforms were possibly leading to new fees by Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase.

In just 11 days, more than 34,000 people “liked” Kristen Christian’s Bank Transfer Day page on Facebook, where she lists the benefits of leaving a ‘big bank’ and instead joining a credit union.

At the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, 160 new accounts have been opened in the past month, double the usual number, according to marketing manager Carlos Rodriguez.

The credit union’s Santa Cruz office, which is usually closed on Saturdays, plans to open on November 5 to accommodate people who are planning to transfer their bank accounts.

Bay Federal Credit Union has seen an upsurge, too.

“On average, we open 300-350 new checking accounts a month, and we just closed October at around 600 accounts, very close to 100 percent growth,” said Tonee Picard, Bay Federal’s executive vice president and chief development officer.

“I can only hope this movement will begin to change the economic apathy that has been present in this country for the past 20 years,” said Rick Hofstetter, president and chief executive officer of Lighthouse Bank.

“How interesting that with all the industry abuses of the past few years, which should have sent a bunch of banking executives to jail, none of it seemed to matter to the public.”

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