Record numbers of member enrollments are continuing among California credit unions, according to the California Credit Union League, and at Maryland’s largest credit union.
The surge began after the Sept. 29 announcement that Bank of America would begin charging a $5 monthly debit fee and has continued past Bank Transfer Day on Nov. 5.
In California, an estimated 160,408 new members joined between Oct. 1 and mid-November, the league said it found in a recent survey. The first nine months of the year saw an average of 15,500 new members per week, compared with 26,735 since then, an increase of 72%, the league said.
New deposits, meanwhile, have averaged $52.8 million a week–a total of just more than $317 million–since Oct. 1, compared to the average of $30.7 million per week from January through September, the league said.
“We are encouraged to see that the peak levels of increases in membership and deposits we saw in October, a result of heightened awareness about credit unions, have continued throughout November,” said Diana Dykstra, CCUL president/CEO.
More than 9 million members now belong to California’s 427 credit unions, which hold nearly $130 billion in assets, the league said.
Across the country, Maryland’s largest credit union said it also is continuing to see “unprecedented member growth” from people moving from other institutions.
Also, current members of the $2.1 billion SECU, “are expanding their relationships with our credit union,” said its President/CEO Rod Staatz.
“With the holidays, we typically see account openings flatten in November and December,” Staatz explains, “but with negative sentiment toward the big banks continuing and more people switching financial institutions as a result of events such as the recent Bank Transfer Day, we are experiencing a reversal of that trend this year.”
During the week after Bank Transfer Day, SECU saw an increase of 62% in new checking accounts compared with the same weeks in 2009 and 2010 and 61% for new members compared with the 2010 week.
The following week, which included the Veteran’s Day holiday, saw a 67% jump in checking account openings and a 72% increase in members compared with the same weeks in 2009 and 2010.
He added that 34% of new checking accounts opened in November came from existing SECU members, “confirming that many members who may not have thought of SECU as their primary financial institution in the past are now beginning to do so.”