The recent disappointment and frustration with corporate banking has led to exponential growth of credit unions nationwide. With more than 650,000 new members and counting, as of Nov. 3, according to the Credit Union National Association, the Move Your Money campaign is changing the way Americans handle their money. Ventura County residents have joined the movement, with thousands of banking customers turning to local credit unions, rebelling against the shenanigans of big banks.

At Pacific Oaks Federal Credit Union in Oxnard, Shane Sanders, a marketing representative, estimated a 50 percent to 100 percent increase in new customers in the last month, resulting in hundreds of new clients moving not only deposits, but also “car loans, credit cards, home loans [and] mortgages.”

“It’s like they’re fleeing,” Sanders said, relaying that most transfers are coming from banks such as Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Other local credit unions are experiencing the same good fortune. The Ventura County Credit Union, located in Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo and Simi Valley, estimated 1,000 transfers since Oct. 1, which came from “the big banks,” especially Bank of America.

County Schools Federal Credit Union in Ventura is no different. A representative said that new accounts were being opened every day and pre-existing clients who held dual accounts with both the credit union and one of the big banks expressed their discontent with corporate banks as well.

   
Western Federal Credit Union in Ventura similarly reported an increase in memberships.

The proposed bank fees that were supposed to promise financial success for corporate banking have done the opposite as angry customers across the country move billions of dollars out of “too big to fail” banks. As Sanders summed it up, “Credit unions … were local, smaller — no Bank of America budget to advertise — but now everyone’s tuned in. It’s great.”