Posted: Nov 5, 2011 6:23 PM by Kathy Kuretich
Updated: Nov 7, 2011 8:12 AM
Bank Transfer Day, has become a national movement.
Started by 27-year-old Kristen Christian, born and raised in Arroyo Grande, Bank Transfer Day has now become a national movement with protests and transfers across the country.
According to the Credit Union National Association, 650-thousand new members have joined in the past four weeks.
"We're trying to take the power away from the ultra rich and the lobbyists and put it back into the people's hands," said protester Ben Lovejoy.
Lovejoy was one of about a dozen protesters at the Atascadero Citibank today, others say, they were frustrated with traditional banks because they were supposed to use TARP funds to help people on the brink of foreclosure.
"But they haven't done that. People are still losing their homes. I know five people personally that have lost their homes due to foreclosure," said protester Amy Salas, who spent more than 20 years in the banking industry.
They say credit unions keep money in the community they serve.
But Rod Brown, CEO of the California Bankers Association says traditional banks invest much more into local communities.
"The dollars they give relative to the credit unions because it's a much larger industry, is infinitely more," said Brown.
He also says some traditional banks considered new debit card fees when an amendment by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, cut by half the amount of money they could charge merchants for accepting debit cards.
He also makes the point, that credit unions do not pay federal income tax.
"What's good about that? Wouldn't you imagine as a taxpayer and as a consumer that you would like all businesses to pay their fair share, to pay their taxes?" said Brown.
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