November 5, 2012 |
There were two major surprises in our Bank Transfer Day research, which was created from both large-scale national polling and walking around actual Occupy sites to interview people.
The primary finding was that, despite stated intentions, not many people actually transferred their money to a credit union from a large bank (feel free to check our historical press releases or my blog archival for more on this)
The second finding, perhaps hidden in the shadow of the primary one, is that more people did transfer their money out of a large bank! (WHAT??!!) So if people transferred their money out of a large bank in the wake of Bank Transfer Day but they didn’t move it to a credit union, where did the money end up?
Surprise: the money ended up being transferred to another large bank!
This is the surprise research finding that no one is talking about, and my belief is that it has significant implications for how investments create value within the realm of financial services. Javelin data show that many consumers heeded the call to transfer money out of large banks, yet they simply moved it to another large bank (rather than to a credit union) more often than not. Bank Transfer Day represents a case study that must be studied by bankers, regulators and consumer advocates alike, because it represents a rare opportunity to understand how benefits such as mobile banking compare to punitive fees when consumers vote with their feet. My concern is that few leaders are taking this opportunity!