Credit unions across the country prepared for an uptick in business this weekend as protesters tried to send a message to some of the country's biggest banks. NBC4's Ted Chen looks inside a march through Downtown Los Angeles financial district where bank customers were urged to take their business elsewhere.
The big banks are keeping mum about whether customers are switching to non-profit credit unions this weekend as part of the Facebook-propelled "Bank Transfer Day" protest.
In Los Angeles, organizers predicted that thousands would move their accounts from the big commercial banks, but it was unclear how many actually did.
Doug Allen moved the bulk of his and his wife's savings to Partners Credit Union in Burbank, which has added some 600 new accounts recently and took the unusual step of opening its doors on a Saturday.
"I've meaning to do it for awhile, so when I saw this event today, I thought, 'That's the perfect reason to finally do it,'" Allen said.
An estimated 650,000 consumers have transferred $4.5 billion from banks to credit unions since the end of September.
Colleen Haggerty, a spokeswoman for Bank of America's Southern California operations, said the giant institution had no comment.
But she said that the bank has to publicly disclose its deposits every three months to comply with regulations governing financial institutions and publicly traded companies.
That means the information will be broadly available at that time, though it might not be possible to check whether deposits dropped on a particular day.
She said the bank, under fire for a now-abandoned plan to charge customers $5 per month for ATM privileges, was still "great" for customers.
"Bank of America continues to be a great place for customers to manage their everyday finances and achieve their savings goals," Haggerty said in an email. "We offer customers more choice and convenience, including industry-leading fraud protection, access to thousands of banking centers and ATMs, and the best online and mobile banking, which allow customers to bank on their terms 24/7."