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Minnesota league presidents column dispels CU myths
ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/19/10)--Mark D. Cummins, Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) president/CEO, and regular columnist in Finance & Commerce newspaper, recently wrote off common misconceptions about credit unions. In a column titled, “Busting the ‘myths’ about credit unions,” Cummins took issue with the “inaccessible” and “inconvenient” labels that are often placed on credit unions. “For years, credit unions have been considered a ‘best kept secret’ of the financial services industry--it’s time for that to change.” Cummins said. “As credit unions emerge from the financial crisis safe and sound, we need to tout our strength and educate consumers on the credit union difference.” Cummins thwarted three myths in his July column:
* Myth No. 1: Credit unions are not convenient; * Myth No. 2: You must be part of a workers’ union to become a member; and * Myth No. 3: Credit unions are not sophisticated.
On the issue of convenience, Cummins discussed the widespread availability of Internet banking, which includes online account access, bill-pay, e-statements and other services. He also touted Shared Branching, which provides credit union members with a nationwide branch network of more than 4,000 locations. Channeling “credit union 101,” Cummins explained various types of credit union fields of membership when tackling the myth about accessibility and eligibility. “While no credit union can serve every member of the general public, I am confident that every consumer in Minnesota can find a credit union that they are eligible to join … without having to jump through hoops,” he wrote. “And no secret handshake, I promise.” Cummins also refuted the stigma that credit unions are not sophisticated by listing many of the products and services offered by today’s financial cooperatives. “Aw shucks--folks looking for a down-home, inexperienced credit union will have to keep searching,” Cummins said, noting that most credit unions are “full-service, robust financial institutions that have a broad range of product offerings--including investment services, small-business loans and retirement planning.” He concluded by encouraging consumers to consider credit unions for car loans, mortgages or high-yield savings options. To read the column, use the link. During the financial crisis, credit unions have been the subject of positive media attention from several national media outlets such as The Huffington Post, The Wall Street JournalI and The New York Times, according to the Credit Union National Association.


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