WESTBROOK, Maine (8/5/10)--Credit unions are an example of “buying local,” while using a bank is generally not the case, according to Maine consumers. In recent focus groups held in Bangor and Portland, conducted by Maine-based research firm, Market Decisions, the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs held by consumers toward credit unions are positive compared with other financial institutions, said the Maine Credit Union League, according to the Maine league newsletter Weekly Update (July 30). State consumers in the focus groups compared ads by credit unions and other financial institutions. The study found that advertisements by credit unions were well-received and viewed as “honest, informative and creative.” In discussing how the ads made them feel about credit unions, consumers used words like “friendly” and “stable.” They also viewed credit unions as more personable than banks, offering better interest rates, more involved in their communities and more concerned about their members. “Judging by the comments from consumers, the message is getting heard and being received--credit unions are a great option for financial services,” said John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League. The research provides messages that the league’s upcoming Awareness Campaign can build upon. Key points that still need to be reinforced with consumers are the convenience and sophistication of credit unions--including online services, advanced technology such as mobile banking, and the state and nationwide ATM and Shared Branching networks, the league said.