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America's Credit Unions Have Seen Their Fastest New-Member Growth in More than a Decade


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(OPEN):
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH, MARKS THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF "BANK TRANSFER DAY"--A GRASSROOTS, SOCIAL-MEDIA CAMPAIGN THAT URGED CONSUMERS TO SWITCH FROM BIG, COMMERCIAL BANKS TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT CREDIT-UNIONS.  DID PEOPLE SWITCH?  ACCORDING TO BILL CHENEY--THE PRESIDENT AND C-E-O OF THE CREDIT UNION NATIONAL ASSOCIATION--OR "CUNA" ["CUE-NAH"]--THE NATION'S SEVEN-THOUSAND CREDIT-UNIONS HAVE SEEN, OVER ROUGHLY THE PAST YEAR, THEIR FASTEST NEW-MEMBER GROWTH IN MORE THAN A DECADE...

(CHENEY):
"
MORE THAN TWO-POINT-TWO-MILLION AMERICANS BECAME MEMBERS OF CREDIT-UNIONS, DURING THE 12 MONTHS ENDING IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR.  NOT ONLY IS THAT THE FASTEST INCREASE IN NEW MEMBERSHIP THAT WE'VE SEEN IN OVER A DECADE, IT'S ALSO FOUR-TIMES GREATER THAN THE 550-THOUSAND WHO JOINED, DURING THE YEAR ENDING IN JUNE OF 2011.  HERE'S SOMETHING ELSE:  THE 12-MONTH INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF NEW CHECKING-ACCOUNTS THAT WERE OPENED AT CREDIT-UNIONS, THROUGH JUNE OF THIS YEAR, WAS ALMOST TWO-POINT-NINE-MILLION.  THAT NUMBER APPEARS TO BE A RECORD--GOING BACK TO WHEN WE STARTED COLLECTING DATA, IN 19-89.  WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE SWITCHING TO CREDIT-UNIONS?  FOR STARTERS, ABOUT 80-PERCENT OF CREDIT-UNIONS TODAY STILL OFFER FREE-CHECKING ACCOUNTS--WITH NO MINIMUM-BALANCE REQUIREMENT, AND NO MAINTENANCE- OR ACTIVITY-FEES.  AND, FEES, IN GENERAL, TEND TO BE LOWER AT NOT-FOR-PROFIT CREDIT-UNIONS THAN AT BANKS."

(CLOSE):
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CREDIT-UNIONS, VISIT "A-SMARTER-CHOICE"-DOT-ORG.



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