Tell Your Members These Results: Credit Unions 86, Banks 14

By Samantha Paxson

If you ask a credit union employee where they think people should put their money—credit union or bank—the winner, of course, is credit union. But how exactly do you explain this to members and potential members?

Recent survey results might be of help. Try promoting the findings of independent website Business Insider. When it asked readers via an online poll which was better, 86 percent of respondents said credit unions.

Business Insider’s analysis is based on accessibility, checking account fees, interest rates and restomer service. The overwhelming “verdict” favored credit unions because credit unions charge lower fees and interest rates, and provide better customer service. The question of accessibility was a draw, even though there are 150 banks in the U.S. with assets of $5 billion or more, compared to only 13 credit unions of that size.

In terms of accessibility, shared branching is a definite credit union advantage. Members of participating credit unions can enter a branch of any other participating credit union anywhere in the U. S. and conduct their business as if they were at their own home branch. There are now 5,000 shared branch outlets in CO-OP Financial Services‘ shared network, with more than 1,800 different credit unions participating. This network, in fact, is the fourth-largest system of branches among financial institutions in the country.Couple that with a network of 30,000 ATMs and credit union accessibility is clearly a strength.

The advantages of credit unions are borne out by survey after survey, giving you even more useful data to present to your members and those you’re prospecting. In a December 2012 survey, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that credit unions remain best in class for financial services, and set the bar for customer satisfaction among all service industries covered by the ACSI, including banks.

Credit unions also have the advantage when it comes to mobile banking, interestingly enough. A 2012 survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 85 percent of credit union members who responded to the survey were happy with the mobile and online access they got at their credit unions—compared to only 66 percent at large national banks and 55 percent at regional banks. If your credit union offers mobile, be sure to talk that one up, too.

Maybe you’ll want to wrap up your efforts to promote credit unions in your market by citing this quote from the Business Insider report: “Big banks are attractive, what with their vast array of credit products, flashy commercials and glossy logos. But for the most part, credit unions are hard to beat. If you are able to take advantage of a credit union…they are by far the best option for banking today.”


Samantha Paxson is vice president of marketing for CO-OP Financial Services, the nation’s largest credit union service organization and operator of the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks. She can be reached at 800.782.9042, ext. 2570.

Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, using the power of aggregation to provide the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed today to find out how Strategic Link can help your credit union save money while meeting its goals in 2013 and beyond:

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