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Media blitz on CUs benefits to consumers includes Cheney in WSJ
MADISON, Wis. (10/28/11)--The efforts of credit unions nationwide to accommodate consumers who are tired of higher existing fees and more new fees from large banks continue to garner media attention across the country. Consumers should to look to credit unions to provide what consumers want, Bill Cheney, president /CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), told The Wall Street Journal in a Thursday article "Beating Those Debit-Card Fees."

"When free checking at banks seems to be disappearing, our survey shows eight out of 10 credit unions still offer at least one free checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no maintenance or activity fees," Cheney told the Journal. The article also mentioned that Beth Page (N.Y.) FCU has gained 1,500 members since Bank of America announced its debit card fee. To read the article, use the link.

In addition to CUNA's own extensive and ongoing outreach to the media, other credit union activities mentioned in the media are:

  • More than 7,000 credit unions nationwide are seeing a surge in new members since Bank of America announced in September its $5 monthly debit fee (abcnews.go.com Oct. 24). Deposits have been flowing into Chicago Patrolman's FCU, Scott Arney, CEO, told ABC News. The credit union is on pace to go 40% above its normal rate of new checking account and debit-card activity in October, he added. To read the article, use the link.
  • Co-op Services CU, a $401.5 million asset, Livonia, Mich.-based CU with 52,000 members, will give new members $105 to shred their  bank debit card and open a checking account with direct deposit at the credit union (e-Banking and Payments News). The move is in response to Bank of America's $5 monthly debit fee.
  • "Bank Transfer Day began as a grassroots movement launched from a laptop by a woman who couldn't take another bank fee," said the introduction to a Dan Rather Reports segment on people moving from large banks to credit unions. "The movement is growing day by day--helping average Americans send the big banks a message by 'un-banking'--taking their business to smaller banks and credit unions."  To view the video clip, use the link.
  • The Maine Credit Union League said it is seeing an increase in members in October (WCSH6.com Oct. 21). It's too early to tell how many of those members are opting for credit unions as a result of a national movement--Bank Transfer Day--to induce people to leave big banks for credit unions by Nov. 5, but it's evident more consumers are shopping around, league President John Murphy told the station. "What we're pleased to see is that consumers know they have a choice, and that we believe credit unions are the best choice for consumer financial services," Murphy added.
  • The Disclosures, the credit union industry's thrift rock duo, Christopher Morris and Chad Helminak, have recently posted videos that credit unions can use to highlight the credit union difference in advance of Bank Transfer Day, Nov. 5. Morris is director of communications for the National Credit Union Foundation. Helminak is the web and member development strategist at the Wisconsin Credit Union League. To view the videos, use the link.
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