MADISON, Wis. (9/17/12)--Credit unions have been widely mentioned in national media this month in regard to consumers breaking up with banks and switching to credit unions, interest rates and fees.
Last year, when U.S. banks started charging fees for services that were previously free, the banks assumed consumers would not notice fees, or if they did, that they would accept them quietly, according to the Saturday Evening Post
However, they were wrong, and six million consumers moved their money to credit unions from banks in the 90 days following Nov. 5--Bank Transfer Day--a national grass-roots movement, because credit unions have lower fees or no fees for many of the same services, the Post
Consumers will pay about one-third fewer fees at credit unions or small regional banks than at huge banks, Michael Moebs, CEO of Moebs Services Inc., told the Post
Mentions in other national media include:
- Two Chicago-area credit unions are among the U.S. financial institutions offering the highest rates on certain interest-bearing checking accounts and one-year certificates of deposit, according to a new survey by data tracker SNL Financial (Chicagotribune.com Sept. 7). Alliant CU, based in Chicago with $8.3 billion assets, offers a 0.75% rate for $5,000 checking accounts, and the $28 million asset, Kankakee, Ill.-based Riverside Community CU offers a 0.5% average interest rate.
- Consumers can join a company credit union to part ways with their bank, according to a Sept. 10 article in Bankrate.com titled "Six offbeat ways to break up with your old bank." A benefit of membership is that a credit union can help members repay loans from their company paycheck or to save more efficiently, Pat Keefe, vice president of communications and media for the Credit Union National Association, told Bankrate. The article also mentions that some credit unions have community charters so any one who lives, works or worships in the community can join. It cited Alliance CU in San Jose, Calif., with $353 million in assets, as an example.
- SwitchAgent, a free service offered by credit unions and banks, helps consumers with switching all their recurring transactions such as automated account transfers, direct deposit and online bill payments, according to mybanktracker.com (Sept. 14). The service was created by Deluxe Corp. One in five consumers said they considered switching to another financial institution, according to a recent study by Consumers Union. Of those who decided not to switch, 63% were worried about the trouble of transferring their automatic payments and deposits, while 37% said the process would take too much effort and time.