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Mica on Huffington Post Consumers moving to CUs
WASHINGTON (1/8/10)--A blog by Credit Union National Association President Dan Mica posted Thursday on the front page of The Huffington Post and responding to the Post's "Move Your Money" series, has generated hundreds of online comments, many from consumers praising their credit unions. Earlier in the week the Huffington Post' launched a campaign, telling consumers to "make a New Year's resolution to move your money out of big banks" and put it in community banks. Since then the Post has amended the advice to include credit unions. Mica's blog responded to the campaign with a "Right on!" and pointed readers to CUNA's CU locator tool at creditunion.coop, which helps visitors locate credit unions near them. "Without question, financial consumers are angry at--and have lost their loyalty to--big banks. Late-night comics routinely make fun of the banks; there's even a new iPhone app in which players try to stop 'cash-hungry' bankers from wheedling more bailout money from the U.S. Treasury," Mica wrote. He noted that "consumers are already voting with their wallets in favor of credit unions." CUNA data show credit unions are on pace to post 2% membership growth in 2009--"the fastest rate we have seen since 2001 and double the rate of U.S. population growth," he said. Moving to credit union "makes perfect sense," he wrote, citing credit unions' structure and service orientation, their better rates and lower fees, and the amount consumers have saved by using credit unions--$9.2 million, or $104 per member and $198 per family. "In today's turbulent economy, credit unions' cooperative business model has renewed relevance for American consumers," Mica wrote. He referred to a statement from Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who said that if other financial institutions behaved like credit unions and small community banks, the mortgage meltdown would never have happened. After the Post's original article, it received a number of comments saying it should add credit unions to its advice. The "updates" page of the Post's "Move Your Money" site now includes this: "CHECK OUT CREDIT UNIONS. Many folks writing us are avid advocates of credit unions. For those who want to do more research, the Credit Union National Association seems like a good resource." By Thursday afternoon, Mica's column had generated 194 comments from online readers and the article had been retweeted 76 times.
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