ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/2/11)--In response to highly publicized consumer dissatisfaction over bank fees, 83 Minnesota credit unions have signed a pledge to offer free debit cards.
The pledge states: "I pledge to uphold the credit union philosophy of 'people helping people' by continuing to offer fairly-priced banking services to our members. In addition, I pledge that my credit union will abstain from charging a fee for members to use our debit cards for as long as market conditions allow us to do so."
"Our cooperative structure is unique among financial institutions," said Mark D. Cummins, Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) president/CEO. "While other financial institutions exist to maximize profits for their shareholders, credit unions exist to maximize their service to members. This unique business model is causing many consumers to consider joining their local credit union."
The desire for a better financial service alternative prompted California art dealer Kristen Christian to organize the "Bank Transfer Day" social media campaign, which encourages consumers to move their money from big banks to local credit unions on or by Saturday. So far more than 70,000 consumers around the country have pledged to participate in "Bank Transfer Day," and the number continues to grow, said MnCUN. Minnesota's credit unions have committed resources to help consumers move their money in conjunction with the campaign.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) estimates that, over the past year, the average Minnesota credit union member saved $76 ($144 per household) by doing business with a credit union.
CUNA, the leagues, and credit unions have worked extensively with national media to point out the benefits of credit unions as an alternative to high bank fees.
For a list of the credit unions that signed the pledge, use the link.