Whilst I have sympathy with the protesters that I saw taking action around the world’s financial institutions over last weekend, I was delighted when I came across an an all the more positive type of protest on Facebook earlier this week, which to me conveyed the same message but in a way that could potentially really make a difference.
‘Bank Transfer Day’ has been set up as a cause in the US on Facebook as a co-ordinated attempt to encourage people to take their money out of their bank and put it in a credit union account by the 5th November this year. This is a mass movement in the US – it is estimated that up to 50,000 people will make this move over the coming weeks.
In New Jersey, billboards are being put up advertising the website IditchedmyBankforaCreditUnion.com. The microsite, created by the $398 million Bridgewater credit union, mixes articles and videos to educate consumers about the credit union difference.
The timing of any of these protests couldn’t be more apt. Today is International Credit Union Day. At the very time that thousands of people have been roused to take action in some form over “fat cat” bankers, today we are celebrating credit unions as a positive alternative that differs from traditional for-profit banks and financial institutions.
My one hope is that next year, with 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives we will be able to positively channel the feelings of those around the world who feels that they do want to build better world, where people not profit is at the heart of business. Let’s build on the momentum of ‘Bank Transfer Day’ to make everyday next year a day to transfer to a co-operative enterprise.