Credit Union Movement Surpasses 100 Million Memberships

Credit unions recorded their biggest reported membership increase in more than a quarter century last year as 2.85 million Americans joined a credit union.

Those new members helped the movement reach and surpass the 100 million member milestone in June, according to calculations from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

CUNA expects the membership growth to continue in the second half of 2014, and exceed the 2.5% growth seen in 2013.

“Credit unions’ cooperative structure, the tangible financial benefits they deliver to members through lower fees and better rates, and the positive impact they have on communities make them the best choice for consumers,” said Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. Stang noted Northwest credit unions also experienced rapid growth. In the year ending in March 2014, he said, 130,000 new members joined credit unions in Washington. In Oregon during that same period, nearly 66,000 consumers joined a credit union.

Two key measurements of consumer attitudes have underscored the sterling reputation of credit unions.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found that for the fifth straight year, credit unions lead banks in customer satisfaction. The late 2013 survey gave credit unions a favorability score of 85 out of 100, compared to 78 for banks.

In 2013, the Chicago Booth Kellogg School Financial Trust Index showed that consumers trust credit unions more than banks. The index (which is sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) showed trust in credit unions is 62% while trust in big banks is 28%.

In addition, hundreds of members have enthusiastically shared their “selfies” and credit union stories online at www.americascreditunions.org.

Credit unions are encouraged to post member stories on their sites as the 100 million member milestone is celebrated for the remainder of 2014. In addition, CUNA has posted an online toolkit with marketing resources, talking points, proposed proclamations for local governments to sign, a sample op-ed and other information.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, Marketing & Communications.