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The First 90 Days

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It’s hard to believe, but the Move Your Money campaign was started just over three months ago. That means that starting April 1, banks will begin reporting their first-quarter operating deposits to the FDIC. In other words, we’ll soon be able to see, in dollars and cents, how much of an impact the Move Your Money project is having. Unfortunately, those reports will be trickling in for the next 30 days, so we’ll still have to wait a bit longer.

In the meantime, though, we can look to whether or not the campaign has affected specific banks. Dennis Santiago tells us about Mechanics Bank, based out of Richmond, Calif., which usually has a hard time attracting new customers. In the last few months, though, they have opened hundreds of new accounts thanks to our movement.

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…imagine Mechanic’s bank surprise when in the first week of January 2010 their branches in Oakland, Kensington, and El Cerrito reported that they experienced a six-fold jump in new account openings. Mr. Butler had no idea where it was coming from until the Oakland branch reported that people were streaming in because of something called Move Your Money they’d seen on the Huffington Post. Over the next 90 days, Rauly estimates that Mechanics Bank picked up between 600 to 800 new accounts in their markets directly attributable to Move Your Money. He estimates it’s added between $5M to $6M in new core deposits to their retail banking business. More to the point of running their business, Mr. Butler says being a bank good enough to make the MYM zip code list is 5 to 10 times more effective than anything he can yield from their traditional marketing avenues.

What a windfall! All they needed to do was operate a bank using safe and sound principles. The IRA analysis engine objectively computes the rest. Mr. Butler did note this apparent windfall to this boss Steven K. Buster, the President, and CEO of Mechanics Bank. Rauly paraphrases that Mr. Buster noted that Mechanics Bank paid for this by doing it right, by foregoing the things that got other banks in trouble, by looking like lesser performers when other raked it in, and now they are seeing the reward of doing their job. Hooyah!

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Mechanics Bank isn’t alone. All of the CEOs at a recent community banking conference were not only aware of the Move Your Money effort – they were excited about it.