WASHINGTON (11/7/12)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney discussed the better rates and lower fees that credit unions offer their members, and the growth that those rates and fees have helped create both before and after last year's Bank Transfer Day, in an appearance this week on Fox Business Network's
How successful was last year's Bank Transfer Day? Cheney in a live interview with Fox Business'
Gerri Willis noted recent credit union membership growth has occurred at the fastest rate seen in a more than a decade.
Last year, Bank Transfer Day gained significant social and traditional media attention, and helped spur credit union membership growth of more than 2.2 million in the 12 months ended June 20, 2012. He noted the 2.2 million gain in new CU members is nearly twice what is typically seen in that period and four times what CUs experienced the prior year.
"Something happened with Bank Transfer Day, and it continues," Cheney said. Not-for-profit, member-owned credit unions have attracted people tired of paying high fees at banks, he explained.
The CUNA CEO also discussed the benefits of credit union membership during his Fox Business
Willis cited Consumer Reports
numbers that show credit unions charge far less than banks for overdraft fees and stop payment fees. Consumer Reports
also found credit unions they surveyed did not charge for online bill pay services, and required lower minimum balances to waive typical member fees.
"How is it that credit unions can give consumers, in many cases, a better deal than some of the biggest banks in the world?" Willis asked Cheney.
Cheney said credit unions, which are member-owned, are "fundamentally different" than banks. They focus on their members, and can return earnings to their members in the form of lower fees, he added.
Asked about consumer access, Cheney said most credit unions are part of national ATM networks like the CO OP Network, and 4,000 also participate in shared branching. "Your credit union may not have 30,000 ATMs, but you have access to them, surcharge free, if you are a member of a credit union," Cheney said.
Separately, a CUNA radio news release featuring Cheney's comments on credit union growth and appeal since last year's Bank Transfer Day has been distributed to 225 radio outlets, including Fox News Radio
and the USA Radio Network
[Editor's note: Although the Fox segment was erroneously titled "Two Million Transfer to Credit Unions in Decade," the news segment correctly states that credit union membership grew more than 2.2 million in the 12 months ended June 20, 2012.