The spillover from Bank Transfer Day produced a 65% jump in loan applications for the $9.6 billion BECU, the Seattle credit union reported this week.
“The increase over the last two months came in auto, Visa and home equity lines so it was apparent that new members just didn’t open new savings accounts,” observed Todd Pietzsch, BECU public relations manager.
Since the height of the October/November BTD frenzy, new account activity has declined from those dizzying 280% climbs “but it is still growing by one-and-a-third” from a year ago levels, said Pietzsch.
“If you take just one day – Dec. 9 – we opened 350 accounts but a year ago that number was 254,” said Pietzsch, noting the full BECU membership now tops 750,000, up from 740,000 before BTD.
Pietzsch said also BECU has no information about a reported BECU member quoted in the Seattle media who had been protesting on a daily basis during the lunch hour in front of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and several other banks carrying a sign encouraging customers to switch to a CU.
A Seattle Times article identified him as Tom Behan, a Vietnam veteran and retired marketing executive whose daughter reportedly lost her home to a bank foreclosure during the recession.
One bank reportedly told the police he was trespassing but Behan stood his ground citing freedom of speech rights on a public sidewalk, said the Seattle paper.
“I think you could say he was one of those typically frustrated bank customers,” Pietzsch concluded.