• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Protesters march on 'Bank Transfer Day' in downtown LA

November 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Demonstrators marched through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to take part in what was called, national "Bank Transfer Day" to protest bank fees.

Protesters along with Occupy L.A. activists filled California Plaza, the financial center of downtown.

"Bank Transfer Day" was a movement urging people to move their money from large U.S. banks to nonprofit credit unions. This movement came to life after one Echo Park woman created a Facebook page encouraging consumers to abandon big banks.

Kristen Christian's Facebook page attracted more than 80,000 people all pledging to participate.

"I couldn't support the principle behind the $5 fee structure that targeted anyone with less than $20,000 in accounts because those people couldn't afford it," said Christian, referring to Bank of America's fee for debit card users.

The "Bank Transfer Day" movement also helped beat back that fee as B of A did an about-face on that added charge. The bank's fee announcement was unfortunate on multiple levels.

In addition to the anxiety many are feeling amid high unemployment and stagnant wages, the news broke just as the Occupy Wall Street protests were capturing the national spotlight.

Big banks have been a key target for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has tapped into the lingering resentment many harbor over the role of banks in the financial meltdown of 2008.

Greg Daugherty with Consumer Reports said people who can't find a way around higher fees should consider moving their account.

"Good places to consider are local banks, credit unions and online banks," Daugherty advised.

Demonstrators on Saturday also marched past branches of Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, ending at City Hall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments