WASHINGTON (12/1/11)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney joined National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz and a pair of credit union journalists to discuss credit union history, their cooperative business structure, and the benefits that credit unions offer to their members in a Wednesday discussion on Washington, D.C.-based NPR affiliate WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney, right, appeared on host Kojo Nnamdi's radio show on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. (CUNA Photo)
Opening the show, Nnamdi, who said that he has been a longtime credit union member, noted that one in three Americans is a credit union member, and said that those that think they do not qualify for credit union membership should "think again."
Cheney followed up on this during the panel discussion, saying that "just about everyone is eligible to join a credit union, just not the same credit union." He said potential members can use CUNA's website, aSmarterchoice.org, to find a local credit union they can join.
The panel also addressed the recent move away from big banks and toward credit unions and other smaller institutions, as Cheney said the recent missteps by Bank of America and other large banks have shone a light on credit unions and let more people see that they truly are "a better deal."
CUNA has estimated that credit unions brought in around 700,000 new members and $4.5 billion in new deposits as a result of November's Bank Transfer Day, with the bulk of those members and deposits coming in the month leading up to Bank Transfer Day, Nov. 5. Cheney said credit unions have seen this growth continue as new credit union members have recognized the benefits of credit unions and told their friends about these benefits through social media and other means.
Basics such as online banking, branch access, customer service, the NCUA's account insurance coverage, and that agency's role in the credit union system, were also discussed during the interview.Kiplinger's Personal Finance
reporter Joan Goldwasser and Credit Union Times
Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke also took part in the panel discussion.
For the full hour-long discussion, use the resource link.