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IForbesI media broadcast positive CU card study
NEW YORK and BOSTON (10/30/09)--Forbes and the Boston Globe are among the media that have broadcast positive news about credit unions' credit card behaviors from a study by Pew Charitable Trusts. Forbes asked in a headline, "Want a Better Credit Card? Consider a Credit Union, Study Says" (Forbes.com Oct. 28). The article begins: "Sick and tired of high credit card fees? A piece of credit union-issued plastic may be the answer. That's because credit unions offer cards on terms that are significantly better for consumers than those issued by big banks, according to a newly released study…" The Boston Globe reported that in contrast to banks' procedures: "Pew found that the 12 largest credit unions, which have just 1% of the market, have lower interest rates, lower fees, and less punitive policies Most still have contracts that allow them to change the terms at will or take other actions the law will prohibit. But even when credit unions use such practices as penalty rates or overlimit fees, they tend to be less expensive than banks, the study said. For instance, credit unions offer cards with average late and overlimit fees of $20, versus $39 for banks." The study gathered information on about 400 credit cards issued by the 12 largest banks and the 12 largest credit unions. It concluded that credit cards offered by credit unions provide their members with more reasonable annual percentage rates, cash advance fees, late fees, and other fees. It also found that penalty fees at the largest credit unions were nearly half of those assessed by the larger banks (News Now Oct. 29). Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica noted that the study "is another example of an independent third party which has confirmed that credit unions, on their own and without prompting from regulators, provide their members with honest, fair deals." It also is evidence, he said, "that all the new regulations coming down on financial services are unlikely to change the behavior of credit unions since they are already doing the right things."
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