WILMINGTON, Del. (11/27/07)--Delaware’s credit unions, by offering lower service fees and better interest rates than banks, have carved out a niche for themselves in the financial services industry, according to a Monday article in the Delaware Business Journal. While some credit unions may not have as expansive branch networks as banks, credit unions have an advantage in offering smaller, more consumer friendly options, the article said. “It’s a different atmosphere,” said Patrick Mahaney, president/CEO of the Delaware Credit Union League, referring to the facts that unlike banks, credit unions are non-profits, have no shareholders, and have boards of directors composed of unpaid volunteers from the credit unions’ membership. The article describes examples of what attracted member Oneil Williams to the $152 million asset, Wilmington, Del.-based Dexsta FCU: personal, friendly service and being recognized by all the credit union employees. The Credit Union Membership Access Act, which allowed credit unions to apply for a charter to permit membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends schools in a designated community, is recounted in the article. Also mentioned is how the Credit Union Regulatory Improvement Act (CURIA) would free up more credit union assets for business lending. The article notes the battle lines drawn between credit unions and banks over CURIA, which is pending in Congress.