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CUs getting global notice from rates study
MADISON, Wis. (8/15/12)--Credit unions have received positive press in national and international media as a result of statistics released this week from Bankrate's 2012 Credit Union Checking Survey. The study noted that 72% of credit unions currently offer free checking, compared with 45% of banks.  Credit unions appeared in Forbes, Fox Business.com, Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HLNTV, and more.

Some of the coverage is coupled with separate surveyt conducted by Money Rate, which reported that bank fees are rising. (See related News Now article: "Bank fees survey--Fees are rising" in today's issue).

The credit union study,  originally featured on Bankrate.com Monday,  made its way Monday and Tuesday to FoxBusiness.com; nationwide HLNTV.com, a CNN affiliate; CBS affiliate WTVR in Richmond, Va.; The Chicago Tribune; Washington Business Journal; Forbes; Huffington Post; Bank Credit News; Loansafe.com, a Better Business Bureau blog, and NBC33TV.com in Baton Rouge, La. Internationally, the story was featured on Yahoo! Singapore Finance, International Business Times in the United Kingdom, and India Investment News.

In a report Tuesday by CNN Money anchor Poppy Harlow on WTOP, a Washington, D.C., area news talk show, Harlow gave advice to consumers to consider looking at credit unions and smaller online banks to escape banks' fees.

Fox Business.com, in its article headlined "Credit unions cling to free checking accounts," wrote as its lead:  "If free checking is in decline, someone forgot to tell credit unions." It reiterated the Bankrate survey's results and noted that "banks are a different story."  "If you're on the lookout for a free checking account, then credit unions remain a viable alternative to fee-laden or high-balance-requirement checking accounts that are becoming more common in the banking community," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, in the article.

Aite Group LLC in Boston noted that credit unions might be missing fee income by sticking with free checking. Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group, noted in the Fox Business article that credit unions are looking at free checking as "competitive differentiation. They're saying, 'Hey, if these big guys are going to get rid of their free checking, we're going to keep our free checking account as a way of being able to say we're different.'"

HLNTV.com, in its article, "Want free checking? Find a credit union!" reported on the survey and instructed consumers interested in learning more about credit unions to "check out the Credit Union National Association." The article linked to CUNA's website.
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