BECU, formerly Boeing Employees Credit Union, is experiencing a 280% increase in new accounts due to new fees by Bank of America and other banks, and the Occupy Wall Street protests. BECU is the largest credit union in Washington, and fourth largest in the United States. It originally served Boeing employees, but dropped that requirement years ago and now serves the general public.
I spoke with Todd Pietzch of BECU earlier today. He told me that they acquired a record of 8700 new accounts in August, a record of 9400 in September, and as of yesterday, have hit a new record of 10,500 new accounts for October, through just two-thirds of the month.
The credit union will soon exceed $10 billion in assets, subjecting it to the "Durbin Amendment", which slashes the debit card transaction fee cap roughly in half, to about 24¢. This will cost BECU, but they will not increase fees or add new ones as they expect to make up for the loss with growth in deposits.
BECU continues to write small business loans and home mortgages. They never did any sub-prime lending, and are not experiencing any problems with elevated levels of foreclosures. Their lending policies have not changed since the financial crisis, and they are committing additional resources to expand small business lending in the near future.
I have several accounts with BECU, including a credit card. Years ago I had a car loan with a rate of under 4%. They currently offer checking and savings deposit rates in excess of 6%. I highly recommend them. If you are still banking at one of the large national banks, what are you waiting for? Find a community bank or credit union and get with the program! "Bank Tranfer Day" is November 5th. The free market enthusiasts are all about competition. Force the big banks to compete and stop their unfair and predatory practices.