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CUNA To Medill: People Discovering CUs Are Best Choice
CHICAGO (6/7/13)--A story and video on Medill News Service's Chicago news page shine a spotlight on the credit union difference with a feature about Chicago-based First Financial CU's business model. The Credit Union National Association notes in the article that people are discovering that credit unions are the best choice.

People wary of banks are searching for better interest rates and have been moving toward credit unions like First Financial CU, which mirrors a national trend of increases in deposits, loans and members over the past five years "right through the recession," says the Wednesday article, "First Financial CU Growth in-line with credit union industry."

In it, CUNA Senior Economist Mike Schenk says that "people are reacting negatively to the [bank] fees and discovering credit unions are their best choice." 

First Financial CU CEO Patrick Basler and New Brunswick, N.J.-based Internet Archive FCU CEO Jordon Modell describe features that make credit unions attractive to consumers. They say that credit unions:

  • Never got into collateralized  mortgage obligations, which helped crash the economy in 2008;
  • Are built around their members, not around investors, and are not-for-profit;
  • Have lower overhead costs and fewer branches, which means they have less upkeep and maintenance; and
  • Have "total camaraderie."  "We're the 'It's a Wonderful Life' institution," says Modell.
The article notes recent national statistics on increases in deposits, membership and assets as well as describes results of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management's Financial Trust Index: 62% of American's surveyed earlier this year trust credit unions. That compares with 28% who trust national banks and 56% who trust local banks.

The story also features a video of Basler describing the credit union's business model. To view the video and read the entire Medill article, use the link.
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