A Connecticut college campus became the setting for a spring version of last fall’s Bank Transfer Day in the past several days.
The $338 million Nutmeg State FCU and the $120 million Seasons FCU of Middletown accepted invitations from a Wesleyan University ad-hoc student group with reported ties to the Occupy movement to set up tables in a campus hall to sign up prospective new members and answer questions from faculty and students about credit unions.
“Over the years we’ve made any number of visits to the many colleges and high schools in the Middletown area but this was the first that had a direct tie-in to Bank Transfer Day and it worked out quite well for us,” said Josh Arnone, marketing manager at Nutmeg in Rocky Hill, Conn.
His credit union had as many as 12 staffers for three days last week plus two more Monday at the conclusion of what was dubbed “Bank Transfer Week.” The effort was sponsored by the Community Banking Working Group, a group encouraging students to move funds into credit unions and out of Bank of America and other large banks.
The Argus, a Wesleyan student body publication, identified the CBWG as a group organized by Occupy Wesleyan members.
Robyn Swanson, chief marketing officer at Seasons in Middletown, said her credit union has long maintained close ties to the Wesleyan, including the administration, faculty and students at the Middletown college that’s part of its field of membership.
“We’re delighted we got invited because we have been eager to enhance our Gen Y marketing, and so the Bank Transfer Week fit that idea well,” Swanson said.
A Bank of America ATM is located in the Usdan University Center and bank transfer pamphlets were posted next to it. Swanson said her staff was told the ATM contract was up for renewal and that the credit union might bid on it.
“That is something we might do” she said.
Nutmeg and Seasons officials said Wesleyan has always been considered a kind of Ivy League school with an eclectic and sophisticated mix among its student body. However, both Swanson and Arnone said they were unfamiliar with any Occupy linkage until this week.
In its approach to Wesleyan, Arnone said his credit union avoids negative bank bashing in its ads so any Bank Transfer Day promotions would remain positive.
Keith Wiemert, president/CEO of Seasons, added, "We are always excited about an opportunity to meet with Wesleyan students to discuss the credit union and how we can make a difference in their lives. Bank Transfer Day has offered a unique opportunity for all credit unions and we are pleased that Wesleyan’s Community Banking Working Group has given us the chance to further educate the student body about the difference a financial cooperative offers. We plan to keep our dialog open with the CBWG, the students and the University. I look forward to being able to serve Wesleyan moving forward.”