ATLANTA (5/14/13)--Delta Community CU's new CEO, Hank Halter, took the opportunity to educate The Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers about the credit union difference, credit unions' structure and service orientation during an interview published in Sunday's edition.
The $4.37 billion asset, Atlanta-based credit union saw record growth in 2012, with a 13% increase--amounting to 30,000 new members-- after big banks imposed new fees or introduced minimum balance requirements, Halter told the publication.
Service is the biggest difference between a credit union and a bank, he said. "Our loyalty isn't divided. We're in business to serve the best interest of our members, period. By the nature of their structure, for-profit banks have to hold something back for the benefit of their investors."
Service and pricing are better at credit unions, Halter said. "Because we're a not-for-profit organization, we can take a longer view of the customer relationship more easily than for-profit banks. Banks are under a lot of pressure to return higher earnings each quarter. Our employees view themselves as partners and advisers to our members. We look for ways to save them money and direct them to the best options, even if it reduces our revenue."
Credit unions can compete with banks' convenience through ATMs and their shared branch network. Although banks are larger, "credit unions do something banks generally don't do. Credit unions collaborate more freely. Because they're not-for-profit, they pool resources and make joint investments in services and technology that benefit all credit unions," he said.
Although credit unions serve more than 95 million members, that is just 8% of the market, according to Credit Union National Association statistics cited in the article. "It's mostly a lack of awareness," Halter told the Journal-Constitution. "Many consumers don't know what credit unions are or the benefits we offer."
Raising awareness about credit unions is one of the three-pronged goals-- along with removing barriers and fostering service excellence--of CUNA's and credit unions' Unite for Good campaign to achieve a strategic vision where all Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."
To review the full article use the link. Also use the links for more information about the Unite for Good campaign or to find a credit union through aSmarterChoice.org.