GNCU gains customers from Bank Transfer Day | NevadaAppeal.com
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GNCU gains customers from Bank Transfer Day

Nick Coltrain
ncoltrain@nevadaappeal.com

There weren’t any Guy Fawkes masks, but there were plenty of new clients at Greater Nevada Credit Union for national Bank Transfer Day, said its vice president of member services.

He said it was hard to say whether they showed up specifically for national Bank Transfer Day, an online protest started over the big banks adding new fees, such as Bank of America’s now-dead plans for a monthly $5 fee for using your debit card.

Tom Wambaugh, the GNCU vice president, declined to disclose specific numbers, but he said his credit union saw about twice the number of people on Saturday compared to that day last year and other Saturdays this year.

“We definitely spiked,” he said.

He said he saw a variety of people walking through the doors and, anecdotally, he saw only dissatisfaction with the bigger banks as the common thread.

“Almost universally, we just got people in … (saying), ‘I’m tired of my bank, so I’m coming in,'” he said.

Wambaugh said the credit union is also planning to ride the wave of discontent with the major banks in an attempt to turn the spike in new clients into an ongoing trend for the credit union.

“We’re going to be paying members to use their debit cards, and we’re looking for ways to do that,” he said, acknowledging the backlash against the proposed debit card fees. He said details aren’t ready to be released yet, but plans should be more concrete in about a month.

The Bank Transfer Day protest gained traction with the Occupy Wall Street movement, a worldwide phenomenon targeting banks, investment houses and other financial institutions whose executives, critics say, are paid far too much amid a nationwide recession. Seventeenth-century British anarchist Guy Fawkes has become a symbol of that movement, with many protesters donning masks in his likeness during protests. Saturday was Guy Fawkes Day.