Are Customers of Bailout Banks Fleeing to Credit Unions?
In case you missed it, this week is International Credit Union Week. Not that anyone would notice, as the public remains shell-shocked over the news that Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) intend to shower their employees with about $25 billion in bonuses this year.
Sometimes, you just reach your last nerve. After my checking account maintenance fee jumped 66% recently, I joined over 1 million Americans who voted with their feet this year. I joined a local credit union.
In real dollar terms, the fee increase was only $8. But it was getting personal. My homeowners insurance just shot up $200, adding to my sense that I was at increased risk for a financial gang-bang.
I was not alone.
According to a recent report by Callahan and Associates, credit unions increased their membership by 1.9% to 91.0M members in 2Q 2009.
The report also states that credit unions are on pace for a record year of lending — at a time when credit availability remains a key issue across the nation and when the FDIC recently reported four consecutive quarters of declines in loans outstanding at banks.
With a market share of less than 7% when compared with banking industry assets, credit unions have much to gain.
But so do credit union members. In addition to great rates, my credit union offers a prescription drug program, a vision plan, gym memberships, and random drawings to win up to $1500 in cash each quarter.
Thanks for the memories, JPMorgan.