ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Fueled by higher bank fees and the Bank Transfer Day movement, credit unions scored some of their biggest membership gains ever in the second half of 2011, NCUA reported this morning.

The nation's 7,100 credit unions added 400,000 new members in the fourth quarter — after the ill-fated September announcement by Bank of America of monthly debit fees prompted Bank Transfer Day — and a near-record 850,000 members in the final six months of the year, making almost 1.3 million new members for 2011.

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