TAMPA, FL. - Otis Coliny is fed up. Five months ago, Coliny said he closed his account at Bank of America over fees.
"Everything has gone up -- milk and food everything of that nature -- and it seems like some of those banks are just inconsiderate," said Coliny.
His main account is at USF Federal Credit Union, the same place senior vice president Bruce Koehler said many are turning to as banks increase fees.
"They want to have a conversation with their so called banker and credit unions offer that experience," said Koehler. USF credit union said in the past year their membership has grown by 35 percent.
Before major banks began announcing changes, Koehler said the credit union started a program called "Bulls Run from Bank Fees," and in that time he saw membership climb.
"For the most part, consumers are tired of being treated like a commodity -- like a number -- and they are seeking more personal service," he said.
Koehler said credit unions are the low-cost alternative to big banks. Today, they were expecting such a large crowd they decided to stay open four extra hours in what has become known as "bank transfer day." People across the nation said they would rebel and join credit unions over costly changes. Due to the backlash of customer opinion, major banks that planned on charging high fees have backed down.
Still, Christopher Jones wasn't going to take any chances. The sophomore at University of South Florida said a credit union is a safer bet.
"As far as being a student, I shouldn't really have to worry about if I'm charged fees -- I may run into certain financial situations where I may have to go below a certain balance, but at most other banks they may charge you a certain balance for a fee, and that's more money that I don't have," said Jones.
That's another thing Coliny said sets credit unions apart from the big banks."I think with that type of attitude you kind of make people want to really put money under their mattress. I mean, why should I pay you to hold my money?" he said.
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