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Consumers' Shift Toward CUs Still Gets Media Attention
MADISON, Wis. (8/12/13)--Consumers' shift from banks to credit unions continue to get media attention, most recently in a Bankrate.com story about the Credit Union National Association's 2013-2014 National Member and Nonmember Surveys and in a Kansas story about credit union checking account growth.
 
"The roar of frustration with banks may seem like it's quieting, but a new survey suggests consumers are continuing to question their allegiances to their banking institutions," said Thursday's Bankrate.com article, "Credit unions beating banks." "More of those consumers are turning to credit unions for their personal finance needs."

It cites findings from CUNA's just-released surveys: 57% of credit union members indicate they are extremely likely to recommend their credit union to friends, while 40% of member who also have bank accounts say they would recommend the bank.

In the article, Jon Haller, CUNA director of corporate and market research, noted that "The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 caused many consumers to question their loyalty to banks, which many consumers blamed for triggering the economic collapse."

In "Banks' regulatory pain is credit unions' gain," the Kansas City Business Journal (Aug. 7) writes that "credit unions have been reaping nice growth in checking account customers ever since banks had to find new ways to make money as they adjusted to several new banking regulations that went into effect in 2011."

It cites an Aite Group report that said 82% of credit unions surveyed saw an increase in their debit card accounts since 2011.

CommunityAmerica CU CEO Dennis Pierce told the publication the Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union has seen about a 16% growth in the number of checking accounts and a 20% hike in checking account balances since January 2011--more growth than in the past. The No. 1 reason that triggers consumers to contemplate switching to credit unions is "when they're exposed to unnecessary or high fees," he said.
 
Consumers will tolerate a bad experience on a checking account for a while but eventually will reach a tipping point, he said. "For the most part it's the constant drip, drip, drip of issues. Fees keep going up and they want a better personal service experience," he added.
 
To access the articles, use the links. For more information about the CUNA surveys, see related News Now articles CU Member Loyalty Rises At Banks' Expense and CUs Must Improve Among Non-members by using the links.
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