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Is Occupy Wall Street hurting banks?

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A growing number of Americans are transferring their money out of large and mid-sized banks: 9.6 percent moved their money in 2011, up from 8.7 percent the year before, and 7.7 percent two years ago, Housing Wire reports, citing a new study from J.D. Power and Associates. The most popular reason for doing so — cited by a third of those who switched banks — was higher fees. Bank of America’s decision last year to impose debit-card fees was a huge blow to its reputation, for instance. But the Occupy Wall Street movement also seemed to have an impact, at least on the margins.

David McNew

GE

Molly Hawkey, who moved her money from a bank to a credit union this week, carries her sign during the Move Your Money March in Los Angeles on Nov. 5, 2011.

According to a separate survey from Javelin Strategy & Research, “Bank Transfer Day, a grassroots campaign designed to encourage bank customers to switch to small banks or credit unions, was the reason 11% said triggered their decision to move,” USA Today writes. Overall, smaller banks and credit unions are gaining from the big bank exodus, the story continues: Their customer base has increased 10.3 percent in 2011, as compared to 8.1 percent in 2010.

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