Fed Up Bank Customers 'Fire' Their Banks

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In this tough economy prices appear to be going up on almost everything, including banking.

Besides checking account fees, overdraft fees, and money transfer fees, some banks such as Bank of America are now hitting their customers with a new $5 debit card fee.

Bank officials say the fees are only being added to make up for the billions of dollars they're losing because of new congressional regulations.

But consumers aren't buying it.

"The more fees… and we just thought we couldn't take it anymore," said Karen Jackson, PTA president of Andover Middle School.

"They're trying to be more transparent in their fees. That's their explanation. But what I'm hearing is that it's still a new fee," disgruntled consumer Molly Katchpole said.

Fed up with what many Americans view as banking institutions' attempt to gouge them, customers are taking their business elsewhere, in a Nov. 5 event called "Move Your Bank Day."

By moving their accounts to credit unions, consumers hope to send a message to the banking world that they won't be taken advantage of.

So far, more than 60,000 people have already responded on Facebook.

Credit unions and community banks are already benefiting from the consumer exodus from the big banks.

The National Association of Credit Unions said traffic on its website is up 350 percent.

"In October, we're on pace to go about 40 percent above that in new checking account and debit card activity," said Scott Arney of Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union.

Some banks and credit unions are even offering "switch-kits" to make the process of changing banks easier.

But experts warn that switching banks can be more complicated than it sounds. They advise talking to your bank before making any changes.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.