Thousands Join Northwest Credit Unions on Bank Transfer Day


CONTACT: David Bennett
Oregon, Washington new memberships as much as 5 times average daily totals for 2010

More than 2,100 Northwest consumers switched to a credit union on Bank Transfer Day last Saturday, Nov. 5, a day when most credit unions that were open only did so for a few hours, a survey of credit unions by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) shows.

Oregon’s 660 new members and Washington’s 1,430 new members account for 5.3 percent of CUNA’s national estimate of 40,000 consumers making the switch to credit unions on that single day. Oregon credit unions were No. 20 on the list, with 660 consumers switching and more than $1.3 million moved into credit unions. Washington credit unions were behind 8 other states in both number of new credit union members (1,430) and amount of dollars moved ($2.9 million).

In 2010, Northwest credit unions averaged 420 new members a day signing up—87 in Oregon, 333 in Washington. Saturday’s total new members, respectively, is 5.4 and 3 times the average daily activity for the entire year.

About $80 million was recorded in new savings based on a survey of about 1,100 credit unions nationwide. The 1,100 credit unions surveyed also reported $90 million in new loans taken out on Bank Transfer Day by both new and existing members.

“Credit unions around the nation are experiencing well-deserved fourth quarter growth following what bankers have done to themselves in the marketplace, and Oregon and Washington are no exception,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) CEO John Annaloro. “Credit unions have long believed that if we can get consumers to better understand the role of credit unions in the financial system that they would naturally make the move. Escalating bank fees forced their hand and it seems like as more people switch, the more people want a better alternative.”

According to CUNA, in the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day, between Sept. 29 and Oct. 31, Northwest credit unions saw 34,000 new members join their ranks (10,700 in Oregon, 23,300 in Washington)—a number equal to more than 22 percent of 2010’s total member growth of 153,174. CUNA estimates that a national total of 650,000 consumers joined a credit union during the same 33-day period.

“Bank Transfer Day was a great day to join a credit union. And, so was yesterday and so is tomorrow,” said NWCUA President Troy Stang. “American consumers are smart. Their rising awareness of not-for-profit credit unions’ convenience and commitment to the members and communities they serve will continue indefinitely.”

Most everyone is eligible to join a credit union. Consumers can discover which credit union is right for them at Credit unions do not pay a board of directors and there are no stockholders demanding rich dividends. Members elect the volunteers who serve on the board.

A recent report on the benefits of being a credit union member show a savings of $92 per year for each of Washington’s 2,711,781 credit union members. In Oregon, each of its 1,496,907 members save an average of $106 per member per year.

Click here to download a copy of the press release.

Posted in Business Solutions, Industry Insight.