Can the Huffington Post persuade consumers to sever their relationships with large banks?
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Late last week the Huffington Post published an article called, Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution. It's an interesting read, and is attracting a lot of attention in the online world. The folks involved went ahead and setup a web site, www.moveyourmoney.info. This site allows individuals to search for a community bank in their neighborhood. Can this site and popular article persuade the masses to move away from large banks? I think it is making a lot of people think more seriously about their banking relationship but I doubt that it will have a noticeable impact on the large banks. I also think it is a great way for community banks to market and promote their offerings. Celent identified a trend back in late 2008 that pointed to consumers opening up additional accounts at smaller financial institutions. This practice is still ongoing. This doesn't mean that consumers have severed ties with large financial institutions. It is more of a step toward increasing personal financial security by spreading funds across multiple banks and establishing secondary banking relationships. What intrigues me the most about the Huffington Post article is the interest it is generating both online and offline. I was quoted in the American Banker this morning regarding the social media implications of the Move Your Money campaign. Influential web sites, bloggers, etc. have the ability to pass along powerful messages to the public and persuade decision making. Banks can do the same as many have the audience, but they aren't exploiting the potential. They need the right mix of message, products, customer service and pricing. A tall order for banks, particularly some of the the larger ones.