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Leagues work on CU awareness for Bank Transfer Day
MADISON, Wis. (11/3/11)--Credit union leagues nationwide have provided local and state media with credit union information and credit unions with resources to assist them in preparing for Bank Transfer Day, which is Saturday.

Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO David Adams was featured on a front-page Detroit News article Nov. 1. "U.S. consumers save $6.3 billion a year thanks to those lower fees and rates, he told the newspaper

"That's $69 per person, on average, but in Michigan, which has 4.5 million credit union members, the savings are about $200 million a year, which is $81 per person," Adams told the Detroit News. The Texas Credit Union League released a study that indicates consumers who move their accounts to credit unions save even more when they also transfer their debt. Texas credit union members save more than $436 million on better rates on loan products, according to the study.

When combined with savings on fees, Texas credit union members save $717.9 million when compared with banking fees and loan rates.

The biggest savings on loan rates is on personal unsecured loans, the type of loan that allows members to borrow for emergencies or holiday spending. The study, which compares rates from banks and not-for-profit credit unions, was conducted by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is based on data from Datatrac, the National Credit Union Administration and CUNA.

"Our cooperative not-for-profit model really makes a difference," said Dick Ensweiler, Texas Credit Union League president/CEO. "Seeing so many new credit union members means that finally the 'secret' is out. Credit unions deliver the best value for members."

The Wisconsin Credit Union League noted that www.asmarterchoice.org, the website that helps consumers find credit unions has seen an increase of 76% in searches for Wisconsin credit unions in the final week of October.

"People are excited not just because of the hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year they can save by using credit unions, but also because credit unions keep money local in a way that sustains jobs and help the communities where they live," said Brett Thompson, president of the Wisconsin league.

To help prepare credit unions for a possible increase in membership inquiries, leagues are providing resources on their websites. For example, the Louisiana Credit Union League has these resources on its site:

  • Bank Transfer Day talking points;
  • A model press release;
  • A "ready sheet" to help credit unions prepare; and
  • A Q & A to address banker myths.
Among other steps, the Louisiana league is encouraging state credit unions to:

  • Have switch kits or other switch support ready;
  • Extend business hours on Saturday; and
  • Reach out to local media (eNews Nov. 2).
Leagues are also asking credit unions to collect and share stories from consumers who join their credit unions on or before Bank Transfer Day.
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