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CUs shine in several media reports
MADISON, Wis. and WASHINGTON (1/27/10)--Credit unions continue to shine in the press, with the latest round of positive stories about credit unions. Bloomberg TV featured Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel Monday evening talking about existing home sales data and what it suggests for the economy. An article entitled "Credit unions are going strong," a story on bank ratings, noted that Pensacola, Fla.-area credit unions "could teach some local banks a thing or two about effectively managing customers' deposits," said pnj.com (Jan. 24). Credit unions "have managed to shine," the publication said, citing quarterly ratings by a Coral Gables, Fla., research firm. It ranked 11 area credit unions with five-star ratings, the highest rating, and three with four-star ratings. By comparison, it awarded five-star ratings to only three local banks and four-star ratings to two other banks in the area. In Sioux Falls, S.D., "The Big Difference in Credit Cards," noted that credit union credit cards are an option to credit union companies that raise rates and fees and cut credit limits and added, "they might be what you need to help you financial deal with our tough economy" (KSFY.com Jan. 26). The article interviewed Sioux Falls FCU President Fran Sommerfeld, who said the credit union hasn't raised rates or cut credit. It also interviewed Marya Leber, who switched to a credit union credit card from a Citibank card in August. Rates weren't the only reason for the switch. "If you have a problem you can come in [to the credit union] and talk to these people; it's not like you're calling India," Leber told KSFY.com. An item on loan modifications in The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch section (Jan. 22) by Andrea Coombes, assistant personal finance editor, admitted she had never been a credit union customer, "but the more I learn about these financial institutions, the more interested I get. The interest rates they charge on credit cards and mortgages tend to be slightly lower than banks' rates, but it's their reputation for customer service that really piques my interest." She told of shopping for a home mortgage and her visit to Redwood CU. "The branch manager chatted with me for a while about my options, ran through some possible scenarios, and then put me in touch with the loan expert. Like the branch manager, he was quick to respond and helpful."
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