News Release: New bank fees, transfer day idea have more consumers looking into credit unions

 
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
 
INDIANAPOLIS -- There is more in the news every day about consumers looking for ways to escape the increasing fees from large banks on debit cards, checking accounts and other financial services. “They should take a look at member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions—they’ll like what they see,” advises Indiana Credit Union League President John McKenzie who explains why credit unions are a better option for consumer financial services.
 
“Credit unions are based on a cooperative model where every member is an owner, and the priority, unlike the for-profit model where large banks have to focus on generating profits to benefit a separate group of stockholders,” he said. “Excess earnings not needed for reserves at a credit union are returned to the members through lower fees and better rates. Free checking and no-fee debit cards are just two examples of the excellent value of credit union membership.”
 
Consumer awareness continues to increase with deposits at Indiana’s credit unions growing by 25 percent sine the economic downturn began a few years ago. It’s also a great time for small business owners to look at credit union membership, too. In terms of supporting small business owners and the job creation they represent, there has been a 50 percent increase in lending to businesses in Indiana by credit unions since early 2008. At the same time, the for-profit financial services sector has been reducing business lending from prior levels.
 
Here are some other facts about credit unions and the ways they serve their members:

Indiana’s 2.25 million credit union members benefit by $90 million annually through better rates and lower fees compared to if the only choice available to them was for-profit financial institutions. This is because credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives, and earnings not needed for reserves and operations are returned to members through better rates and lower fees.

Thousands of credit unions across the U.S. share their branch facilities to offer members additional convenience and accessibility. In Indiana, there are 216 credit union locations that allow members from any participating credit union to come in and perform transactions which make credit unions the largest financial institution branch network in the state.

When it comes to ATMs, Indiana credit unions offer members access to hundreds of surcharge-free ATMs. Eighty percent of Indiana credit union members have access to more than 800 surcharge-free ATMs statewide.

There are 187 credit unions in Indiana. To find one to join, visit www.icul.org and enter your ZIP code next to the “Find a Credit Union” button on the home page.

To learn more about credit unions’ commitments to the communities they serve, visit www.icul.org and click on “Commitment to Change.”