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Washington state CUs see 10 membership growth
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (2/12/10)--Washington state residents are moving their financial accounts to credit unions in a big way, which has led to 10% membership growth in the state’s 119 credit unions, according to the Washington Credit Union League. “Move Your Money”--a national campaign designed by the Huffington Post to get depositors to move their money to credit unions and community banks--seems to be helping Washington credit unions. The campaign is a protest of the government bailing out large banks instead of bolstering smaller financial institutions (Bellingham Business Journal Feb. 1). “Media reports on problematic banks seemingly have made Washingtonians suspicious of profit-driven financial institutions, especially big Wall Street banks,” John Annaloro, league CEO, told the Journal. “Ten percent yearly growth was unheard of prior to this extraordinary migration to credit unions.” Until recently, average growth for credit unions in the state has been about 2% annually, Terry Belcoe, CEO of North Coast CU in Bellingham, Wash., and league board member, told the publication. A key differentiator for credit unions is that they don’t have investors demanding a return on their investment the way traditional banks do, the Journal said. “We don’t have that kind of pressure,” Belcoe told the publication. “We don’t have the incentive to go out and do anything stupid. We get paid to take care of our members’ stuff, not to make them rich.” Whatcom Educational CU, Bellingham, also was interviewed by the Journal.
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