Bank Transfer Day Campaign Doesn't Trickle Down to Moon
A national movement hasn't yielded membership spikes for a township credit union, but inquiries about joining are on the rise.
Participants in the anti-big-finance movement have urged members of the public to shift their banking from for-profit institutions to not-for-profit credit unions. Earlier this month, the movement rallied behind National Bank Transfer Day, an annual event that promotes local credit union banking.
National Bank Transfer Day and the Occupy Wall Street movement are not affiliated, organizers said.
"We maintain a pretty steady number of new members," said Christianne Gribben, assistant vice president for marketing at Clearview Federal Credit Union, which is headquartered in Moon.
"I think because we don't have something like a Bank of America branch near us, we didn't see a more significant number," Gribben said. Bank of America was among the national banks targeted during National Bank Transfer Day due to its plans, later abandoned, to charge its customers fees for debit card use.
Clearview Federal Credit Union serves more than 70,000 residents of Allegheny County and several surrounding communities. It is the largest credit union in Greater Pittsburgh, with more than a dozen office locations as well as its main branch on University Boulevard.
Residents of Allegheny County and nine nearby communities are eligible to join Clearview, according to the company's policy.
"We saw maybe a slight uptick [of new bank memberships on Bank Transfer Day], which would indicate that there were some people switching," she said. "But the numbers have remained steady."
Members of the Occupy movement are drawn to credit unions because, unlike big banks, the nonprofits are owned by their members and have no stockholders.
"Credit unions are structured to return money to their members, and we keep our fees very competitive," Gribben said.
Moon is home to two credit union locations, Clearview and the Beaver County-based West-Aircomm Federal Credit Union located on Beaver Grade Road. West-Aircomm officials could not be reached for comment.
"There's a lot of emphasis nationally right now [on switching to credit unions]," Gribben said. "Certainly we have seen an increase in the number of inquiries we're getting."