This is a really interesting article speculating that credit unions are poaching clients from big banks. Interestingly, it notes that the big banks may not be all that disappointed to be losing some of these customers. That being said, if this was more than just a few customers, I am sure the banks would be a little more concerned. From the anecdotal evidence out there, this appears to be highly symbolic, but not terribly extensive shift of deposits. As the article notes, big banks prefer the big depositors where they can make money. And big depositors seem to prefer the security of a big bank, as opposed to the statement they can make by going to the local credit union.
Reading this article brought to mind a lot of conversations that I have with clients going into bankruptcy. I warn them to stay away from Wells Fargo and Union Bank, because they might have their deposits frozen. When I initially thought about this, I thought, “man, that’s a stupid thing for these banks to do because they will lose all of these customers.” But I think some of these big banks don’t mind losing clients who are in bankruptcy, because the deposit amounts are not going to be very large. One thing that I tell these clients is that big banks don’t think the way individuals or small businesses think. They think in non-emotional, macro-economic terms and will sometimes make what appears on the surface to be a ludicrous economic decision because the data supports the decision. So, don’t get frustrated with how big banks think. Just take your money elsewhere.