Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is There a Credit Union in Your Neighborhood?

Even though the credit union industry hasn't emerged unscathed from this recession, it has fared better than their bank and thrift competitors – look no further than the industry's most recent growth numbers.

The enormous amount of negative national publicity the banking industry has received is leading consumers to explore other options.

First quarter data indicates that more of them are turning to credit unions. As of March 31, 2009, the number of total credit union members swelled to over 90.5 million, growing 1.84 percent since March 2008.

Customer dissatisfaction with banks is prompting consumers to actively look for other options.
Financial services have perhaps been affected more than any other industry by the current economic crisis.

The banking industry in particular has been slammed with extremely negative headlines, heated criticism, and even potential insolvency for some of its largest institutions. Bank and thrift customers were, and are, being directly impacted, as banks have significantly tightened lending standards and reduced the availability of credit, cut back on services, or experienced hastily-arranged and well-publicized mergers.

Credit union member growth is most likely coming from people who are either fed up with their current institution or those that find their way to a credit union seeking to obtain a loan in a marketplace where credit availability is scarce.

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