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Move Your Money hits Montana
HELENA, Mont. (3/4/10)--The Move Your Money campaign urging consumers to move their funds from large national banks to more local credit unions and community banks for better service has drifted West to Montana, reports the Montana Credit Union Network. A segment on KFBB TV, which serves the Great Falls and Helena areas, noted "Why more Montanans trust their money to credit unions." And in a letter to the editor of The Missoulian, a member tells why he ditched Chase to join a credit union. On the KFBB-TV segment, Kathy Briggs, manager of Family First CU, Great Falls, explained that most people realize that their money benefits the owners of the banks, not the customers. "So they turn to a credit union where the members are the owners, and we're not trying to generate an artificially high profit for someone who will never walk through the doors," she said, noting credit unions "epitomize the Main Street versus the Wall Street dichotomy." The station interviewed Bill Garcia, who switched from a larger chain bank to Great Falls Teacher's FCU. "I walked in the door this morning, and Julie at the desk said, 'Hi, Bill.' It's just something you don't typically see." He asked for a motorcycle loan and liked the personal service so much he brought his other accounts--and a few friends--to the credit union. "It's actually uplifting. If you're having a bad day, just come in and check your balance and you'll feel better," Garcia said. Julie McCamley of Teacher's FCU said consumers get lost in a larger institution, but the credit union strives to prevent that. "We don't want them to be just another number. We want to know their names. We want them to be comfortable." In his letter to the Missoulian posted Feb. 27, Joe Splinter of Billings wrote that he moved his funds from "too-big-to-fail" Chase Bank, which received government bailouts that made him "appalled." He moved "all my money to a wonderful, local, welcoming, caring, not-for-profit credit union right here in Billings." He urged the state, local and county governments to put their funds in small, local banks and community-owned credit unions. To access the television segment and the letter, use the links.
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