Thanks to you, Credit Unions have reached 100 million memberships

Credit Unions and thier members spark much media attention

Published Friday, August 8, 2014 by Independent Federal Credit Union

“We are pleased that Indiana Credit Unions have played such an important role in this national milestone,” said Indiana Credit Union League President John McKenzie. “With 2.4 million Credit Union memberships in the state, more than a third of Indiana’s population has access to the benefits of belonging to member-owned, not-for-profit financial service providers."​
 
​As financial cooperatives, Credit Unions have always been a trusted place for quality financial services, offering better rates and lower fees. Additionally, their status as a source for locally rooted loans for consumers and small businesses continues to be an advantage for millions of people. Over the last five years, Hoosier Credit Unions saved their members an average of more than $100 million per year in total, compared to the fees and rates the members would have faced if their only option would have been to use for-profit financial institutions.
 
The Credit Union National Association's announcement that America's credit union membership has topped 100 million was cause for celebration, and one that was noticed by media outlets across the nation.
The Washington Post's WonkBlog column cited CUNA interim President/CEO Bill Hampel, "In the old days, people would have thought 'those credit unions sound like a good deal, but I don't think I can get into one,'" Hampel told The Washington Post. Now, the article noted, there is both greater eligibility and broader awareness. Now, to join a Credit Union, one simply must live, work or worship in that Credit Union's community.
News that roughly a third of Americans use credit unions quickly spread to other media outlets such as The Fiscal Times, which featured CUNA interim Chief Economist Mike Schenk, and Daily Finance. A recurring theme is the unique structure--not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative--of credit unions that gives them the ability to offer better rates and member-focused service.
"The long list of benefits to credit union membership is no longer one of the country's best-kept secrets," said Pat Keefe, CUNA senior vice president/chief communications officer. "Credit union products and services saved consumers $8.5 billion in 2013. That benefit goes both directly to credit union members, because members--not stockholders--are owners, and to the American consumer overall because credit unions' better pricing puts competitive heat on banks."
The national 100 million memberships count is based on data collected from Credit Unions and compiled by The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in its June 2014 “Monthly Credit Union Estimates.” CUNA estimates that Credit Union memberships expanded by 2.9% in the past 12 months (June 2013 to June 2014), and the 100 million mark was eclipsed in June. Nationally, Credit Unions added a total of 2.85 million additional memberships over the past year - the largest reported increase in more than a quarter century
In Indiana, deposit growth has been strong over those same time frames as more people are choosing Credit Unions for their financial service needs.
 
“Clearly, there is growing recognition for Credit Unions among consumers,” said CUNA President and CEO Bill Hampel. “They increasingly understand that a Credit Union places their interests above all else, particularly in returning financial benefits to consumer members in the forms of lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings, and lower and fewer fees.”
 
It’s the structure of Credit Unions – as not-for-profit, democratically led and cooperatively owned financial institutions – that allows Credit Unions to maintain this focus on returning financial benefits to members.
 
At least two key measurements of consumer attitudes have recently underscored the reputation that Credit Unions have built among their members. At year-end 2013, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found, for the fifth straight year that Credit Unions lead banks in customer satisfaction (scoring 85 out of 100, compared to 78 for all banks).
 
In 2013, the Chicago Booth Kellogg School Financial Trust Index showed that consumers trust Credit Unions more than banks. The index (which is sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) showed trust in Credit Unions is 62% while trust in big banks is 28%.
 
STAND-UP and be COUNTED!
To help celebrate this significant milestone, and show what 100 Million looks like, you can post your 'selfie' to a dedicated website, constructed to help us show you are 1 in a Million!
To submit a picture, visit www.americascreditunions.org and click on the 'Get Started' near the bottom of the page and complete the submission form. Show your pride and upload your photo to social media! Be sure to tag @independentfcu with hashtag #100MM!

 

About the Indiana Credit Union League: The Indiana Credit Union League is the statewide trade association for Credit Unions in Indiana. Those Credit Unions serve more than 2 million Hoosiers.
About CUNA: Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America's Credit Unions, which are owned by more than 100 million consumer members.