Consumer Reports Praises Credit Unions for Excellent Service, Low Fees

Reporting from CUNA. Credit unions received among the highest marks for service that Consumer Reports has ever given to an industry in the magazine’s recent financial services series “Bank & Credit Union Buying Guide.”

The report drew from more than 74,000 bank and credit union ratings.

“Credit unions are among the highest-rated services we’ve ever evaluated, with 93% of their customers highly satisfied, on average, vs. 69% for the four biggest national banks,” said Jeff Blyskal of Consumer Reports. “That satisfaction is driven by good customer service, not surprising when you consider that credit unions are owned and managed by their members.”

In addition to finding that credit unions offer unparalleled service compared with banks and online lenders, the magazine also reported that credit unions provide the lowest costs on the financial services block.

“The credit union philosophy of People Helping People inspires excellent service across the industry,” said Jim Morrell, President and CEO of Peninsula Credit Union. “People who work in credit unions like Peninsula see their role as an opportunity to help people reach their financial goals and achieve their dreams. We are motivated by doing good by our members.”

The article shared that the typical credit union offers free checking regardless of account balances, higher interest rates on certificates of deposit and significantly lower rates for credit card and auto loans. Additionally, many credit union members have access to tens of thousands of fee-free ATMs thanks to the CO-OP Financial Services network and thousands of branches through shared-branching networks.

The report also highlighted how credit unions make community involvement an integral part of their business.

The bottom line?

“By upgrading to a better financial institution that matches your needs, you could save hundreds of dollars per year in fees, earn higher interest rates, and pay lower loan rates, while getting better customer service,” the article said. “And you probably won’t need to give up all the convenience of using ATMs, banking online, and managing accounts from your smartphone because even small community banks and credit unions now make these services available.”

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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