SEATTLE, Wa. (CBS Seattle) — Occupy Seattle protesters said they won’t go anywhere, but that doesn’t apply to their checking accounts.
Seattle’s BECU University Avenue branch had a big October, bringing in 918 more accounts this year than during last October. The 303 percent increase is close to the 303.6 percent increase in new members the branch brought in year over year.
On Saturday, when Occupy Wall Street advocates for a bank transfer day, the small lobby will be packed.
Todd Pietzsch, BECU spokesperson, said the community is frustrated and looking for alternatives.
In August, membership across the system rose 33 percent over July’s numbers. In September, it climbed to 44 percent over average. The record-breaking October showed membership increases of 146 percent.
There’s little wonder why, recent polling says.
Big of America customers, which recently retreated from plans to charge a $5 debit card fee, are among the least satisfied, according to a Harris Interactive poll.
Nine percent said they were “not at all likely” to continue using the bank. The nation’s largest banks scored the lowest.
“Customers express their loyalty through their actions, but the underlying motivation for these actions is rooted in the degree to which the bank connects with its customers on both a rational and emotional level,” said Carol Gstalder, executive vice president of Market and Customer Insights at Harris Interactive.
Credit Union members are three times as likely as customers of Bank of America to experience a trustworthy relationship (74 percent vs. 25 percent) and feel valued as a customer (72 percent vs. 24 percent).
Unfortunately for big banks, the frustration is going viral.
Of Seattle Occupy protesters who “liked” the page, many plan to swing by BECU to open accounts before marching on to protest big banks.
Pietzsch said they’re certainly welcome. The credit union has evolved its messaging to appeal to the upset big bank customer since the financial system collapsed in 2008.