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Denmark: “Happy Divorces” with Big Banks

“Are you sure you want to take out money here?”

This question was posted across ATMs of the big banks in Denmark back in September. It was the warm-up for the ‘Bank Transfer Day’ that kicked off on Oct. 1.

The ‘Bank Transfer Day’ campaign [da] is a citizen initiative working to make the Danes reconsider where they keep their money – to consider if they can vouch for their bank. The goal of the campaign is to make the Danes dump the big banks and go to smaller savings banks and co-operative local banks instead.

“Break up with you bank,” they shout on FacebookPhoto by 401(K) 2012 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Price increases in loans and overdrafts may have helped push the initiative forward – either way, more and more Danes express dissatisfaction with their banks, and so far an unknown amount have even switched banks.

The Facebook page [da] of ‘Bank Transfer Day’ has over 6,000 ‘likes', and posts tick in with messages of “happy divorces” with old banks and recommendations for new ones.

Klaus Nørregaard [da] writes:

Just signed the papers and moved the household's activities to Arbejdernes Landsbank” [an unlisted shareholding bank]

Hatice Ucar [da] asks:

Which bank do you have? Do you recommend it and why?

It seems, however, that the day is only happy for the ones with sound financial circumstances. More people have commented on the wall that they were not allowed to change bank, as Ahu Perle Öztürk [da] comments:

Errrmmm, my bank won't break up with me?”

The ‘Bank Transfer Day’ initiative comes as a reaction to the banks’ jeopardizing behavior before and after the recession,, they explain on their Facebook page [da] and website [da].

The Danish initiative happens in the wake of similar international initiatives.

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