Bank Transfer Day of the Day: In case you forgot, today is Guy Fawkes Night, an annual commemoration that started out as a day of thanksgiving for the failure of a plot to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords that somehow transmogrified into the exact opposite: A day to rebel against the modern-day monarchies that rule most Western democracies.
In the United States, Occupy Wall Street-endorsed activists are hoping to use the misremembered spirit of the occasion to launch a national Bank Transfer Day in which customers of large financial institutions are encouraged to withdraw their money, and deposit it in a Credit Union instead.
The movement was galvanized by the decision of several “corporate-level banks” — most notably Bank of America — to introduce a $5 fee for debit card usage beginning in 2012.
The backlash sparked by the announcement — which included more people switching to Credit Unions in the month of October than had in all of 2010 — caused many banks to nix their upcoming fees, while others cancelled existing ones.
Still, the Bank Transfer Day movement soldiers on: After banks relented to pressure and rescinded their debit card fees, the official Bank Transfer Day Twitter account responded simply by posting a link to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
You can learn more about the why’s and how’s of Bank Transfer Day with the helpful FAQ on its Facebook page. Also of value is this handy “Field Guide to Closing Your Bank Account” published by FearLess, and Consumer Report’s 5 tips for a smooth transition.