I finally opened an account at my local credit union a few weeks ago, and the manager told me their membership was up by "at least" 25 percent this quarter. Which is good! They treated me like a human being, they had a nice waiting area and enough tellers that there weren't huge lines. It seemed, well, almost un-American! In a press release from American Banker, here's news that the "move your money" movement has been a real success:
WASHINGTON — An estimated 650,000 consumers have closed their bank accounts and opted for credit union membership over the past four weeks, according to CUNA, bringing the approach to Saturday’s Bank Transfer Day to a crescendo.
In a survey of 5,000 of its credit union members CUNA estimates that at least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since Sept. 29, the day Bank of America unveiled its now-rescinded $5 monthly debit card fee. Also during that time, CUNA estimates that credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts, likely from the new members and existing members shifting their funds.
"These results indicate that consumers are clearly making a smarter choice by moving to credit unions where, on average, they will save about $70 a year in fewer or no fees, lower rates on loans and higher return on savings." said CUNA President Bill Cheney.
Cheney said the growth is particularly noticeable at larger credit unions (those with $100 million or more in assets, which account for about 20% of all credit unions – but count about 80% of all credit union members).
The CUNA survey shows that more than 70% of these credit unions reported they have seen growth in memberships and deposits since Sept. 29.